The Hyundai i30 that’s sold in Europe is a variant of the Elantra that’s sold in North America, and the new i30 that debuted at the Paris show will be the Elantra GT when it comes to Canada later next year.
It’s thoroughly updated with better quality materials throughout and electronic driver’s aids in its software, not to mention all the connectivity buyers have come to expect in 2016. On the outside—well, Hyundai makes its own steel, so it’s 22 percent stiffer than before, for better handling. It’s not much lighter, but it’s stronger and apparently offers a quieter ride.
There are six different engines available here in Europe, though we won’t see the diesels in Canada and probably not the smaller 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder. There’s a basic 99-hp 1.4-litre four-cylinder, and also a turbocharged version that makes 138 hp. We may not get any of them, actually: the current Elantra uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder that makes 173 hp, and the GT might well stick with that.
It’ll put power to the wheels through a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. There’s a six-speed manual in stick-loving Europe, but we won’t get that unless Hyundai wants to create a cheaper loss-leader to get Canadians into the showrooms—where they’ll demand the automatic.
Hyundai showed off a rally-racing concept of the i30 called the RN30 that’s a stripped-down body with a 375-hp engine. It’s an extreme version of what Hyundai’s new performance “N” division might create if they want to get serious with the Elantra—and why not?