Hyundai’s sporty small-car ad­di­tion

Pilbara News - - Motoring - Derek Og­den

Few cars can be found bask­ing in the glow of the halo tag but the Elantra SR earns its place in the sun at the head of the sixth gen­er­a­tion of the Hyundai line.

The com­pany’s “lit­tle big car”, the Elantra, has been given a leg up in the per­for­mance stakes with the ad­di­tion of a 1.6 tur­bocharged di­rect-in­jec­tion petrol en­gine.

With links to the next-gen­er­a­tion Hyundai i30 that’s due out soon, Elantra SR Turbo en­gine pro­vides sporty ca­pa­bil­ity to match its good looks, plus high lev­els of com­fort and re­fine­ment.

Elantra SR Turbo’s sus­pen­sion has been adapted for Aus­tralian con­di­tions by Hyundai’s well-re­spected lo­cal chas­sis and sus­pen­sion tun­ing team.

The model comes in two vari­ants, with the po­tent en­gine matched with ei­ther a six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion or op­tional seven-speed dual clutch au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with steer­ing-wheel mounted pad­dles. The for­mer was the test ve­hi­cle.

In keep­ing with its sporty char­ac­ter the Elantra SR Turbo en­hances Elantra’s Flu­idic Sculp­ture styling with a pumped up body kit, which in­cludes a deep front sports bumper and a grille with pi­ano-black sur­rounds.

A red Turbo badge, plus re­vised dusk-sens­ing bi-xenon head­lights with red in­serts make a pow­er­ful up-front state­ment.

The LED day­time run­ning lights have been lifted above the large air in­takes which di­rect air­flow and re­duce tur­bu­lence around the front wheel hous­ings.

Aero­dy­nam­ics are fur­ther im­proved by sculpted deep side skirts, while sig­na­ture slim­line tail-lights and sports rear bumper with dif­fuser and SR badge leave no doubt as to the car’s char­ac­ter.

The SR Turbo earns Elantra flag­ship sta­tus with high stan­dards of ma­te­ri­als, fit and fin­ish, aug­mented by a com­pre­hen­sive cast of com­fort, con­ve­nience and con­nec­tiv­ity fea­tures.

This in­cludes ex­clu­sive deep front bucket sports seats with gen­er­ous side bol­sters and em­broi­dered Sport logo.

Black per­fo­rated leather­ap­pointed up­hol­stery with con­trast­ing red stitch­ing is stan­dard.

Red con­trast stitch­ing can also be found on the sculpted split rear bench seat, flat-bot­tomed mul­ti­func­tion steer­ing wheel and gearshift gaiter.

The driver’s seat is 10-way elec­tri­cally ad­justable and in­cludes lum­bar sup­port, the front pas­sen­ger seat is height ad­justable and, for the first time in Elantra, both front seats of­fer three-stage heat­ing.

The cabin also in­cor­po­rates al­loy ped­als and a power-op­er­ated sun­roof with man­u­ally re­tractable slid­ing pri­vacy and sun pro­tec­tion screen.

A sports in­stru­ment clus­ter in­cor­po­rates newly repo­si­tioned fuel and en­gine tem­per­a­ture gauges. A large 3.5-inch TFT LCD dis­play in the in­stru­ment bin­na­cle fea­tures a dig­i­tal speedome­ter and trip com­puter.

In ad­di­tion to the 7.0-inch touch­screen au­dio sys­tem with MP3, dig­i­tal iPod, Blue­tooth, Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto con­nec­tiv­ity it shares with Elantra Ac­tive and Elite vari­ants; SR Turbo fea­tures steer­ing-wheel mounted phone con­trols.

The 1.6-litre T-GDi tur­bocharged en­gine records max­i­mum power and torque fig­ures of 150kW at 6000rpm and 265Nm be­tween 1500 and 4500rpm, which is 34 per cent and 38 per cent up re­spec­tively on those de­liv­ered by Elantra Ac­tive and Elite’s 2-litre MPi petrol en­gine.

Trans­mis­sion is ei­ther a sixspeed man­ual or seven-speed dual clutch type, the lat­ter with pad­dleshifters on the new flat-bot­tomed mul­ti­func­tion sports steer­ing wheel.

Also ex­clu­sive to DCT-equipped Elantra SR Turbo is Hyundai’s driver-ac­tu­ated Drive Mode Se­lect sys­tem with Nor­mal, Eco and Sport modes, op­ti­mised for re­spon­sive steer­ing and slick gear shifts.

Stan­dard are Hyundai’s pas­sive and ac­tive safety fea­tures, in­clud­ing six airbags and electronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, which have helped the sixth-gen­er­a­tion Elantra achieve a max­i­mum five-star ANCAP safety rat­ing.

New and ex­clu­sive to Elantra SR Turbo are blind spot de­tec­tion, lane change as­sist and rear cross traf­fic alert.

With a peak power of 150kW avail­able at a high 6000rpm the en­gine showed a good flex­i­bil­ity, which was em­pha­sised by gen­er­ous max­i­mum torque of 265Nm be­ing on hand be­tween 1500 and 4500 revs.

Both of­fered com­fort and con­ve­nience in town traf­fic and a pleas­ing amount of free rein on the open road.

How­ever, mind­ful of the need to main­tain revs in all gears, lazy changes were pun­ished by the odd sad stalling episode.

The new plat­form, de­signed and de­vel­oped in Europe and re­fined at both the iconic Nur­bur­gring Nord­schleife in Ger­many and at Hyundai Mo­tor’s Namyang Re­search and Devel­op­ment Cen­tre in Korea, was fur­ther honed over thou­sands of kilo­me­tres on Aus­tralian road sur­faces.

Cir­cuit high-speed han­dling tests also were per­formed lo­cally.

So it was not sur­pris­ing that the SR Turbo ride and han­dling was a match for the ver­sa­tile pow­er­plant.

Ex­pect com­bined ur­ban / high­way fuel econ­omy with the sixspeed man­ual trans­mis­sion to be 7.7 litres per 100km and 7.2 litres per 100km with the six-speed man­ual. Classed as a small car in the scheme of things in mod­ern­day mo­tor­ing, the cabin is nei­ther cramped nor claus­tro­pho­bic, of­fer­ing oc­cu­pants a ma­jor share of the spir­ited driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in com­fort.

The Hyundai Elantra is given a lift in looks and per­for­mance by the SR Turbo.

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