The edgy styling of the outgoing model helped redefine the compact sedan segment, and now Hyundai is hoping to score again with the upcoming update of its compact Elantra.
A rendering of the new sedan, released by Hyundai corporate headquarters in Seoul, shows that the maker isn’t going for a complete makeover but, rather, a further refinement of the current Elantra’s coupe-like shape. That includes more distinctive “active character lines” and new wheel arches.
“The All-new Elantra captures the car’s unique design characteristics that really place this model in a class of its own,” declared Peter Schreyer, Hyundai Motor Co.’s president and Chief Design Officer, in a statement.
“The subtle and innovative appearance enhancements reflect Hyundai Motor’s vision for design,” added Schreyer. “Furthermore, this car indicates a move from traditional to modern styling by communicating the new model’s comfort, fashion and sporty feel.”
(Hyundai Vision-G Concept hints of radical changes to come with next Equus luxury sedan.Click Here for more.)
The nose of the new Hyundai Elantra is a bit sharper, with distinctive hood creases cutting from the grille to the A-pillar. A second crease flows from the headlamps to the middle of the rear window, giving it more powerful shoulders. A third character line flows from the front wheel well to the wraparound taillamps.
The door panels, meanwhile, appear to take an almost concave, sculpted shape, enhancing the muscularity of the wheel wells.
“Noticeably,” a statement from Hyundai exclaims, “the large hexagonal grille is paired with slim and sporty headlights for a feeling of energy, while clean and refined surfaces build on the active stance of the all-new Elantra.”
The outgoing Hyundai Elantra picked up on the so-called Fluidic Sculpture design language introduced with the bigger Sonata. But where the latest version of that midsize sedan took a more conservative approach, Hyundai appears to be set on a more edgy look for the next-gen Elantra. And for good reason, considering styling was listed as one of the top motivators for buyers.
Demand has been so strong that Hyundai has had trouble meeting the market’s needs, something it hopes to address in the next couple years as it squeezes out more cars from its global manufacturing network.
The maker isn’t offering any hints as to what will come under the skin but insiders have hinted that the next Hyundai Elantra will get a boost in both mileage and performance, in part through efforts to trim the compact model’s mass.
The new look can be seen as a hint of where other new Hyundai products will be going, including a mid-cycle update of the current Sonata model that is expected to again push the design envelope.
(Click Here to check out the new Kia Sportage.)
In an interview at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last weekend, Schreyer outlined the direction he wants to take the Hyundai brand. He explained that his goal is to “make the brands strong,” while “keeping them fresh.”
While the Fluidic Sculpture language has generated plenty of buzz, Schreyer said consistency is critical, as is developing a bit more refinement to Hyundai’s designs.
“It’s not just about putting down all these lines,” the German-born design chief explained. “I want to get away from the thinking that many young designers have that it is all about surfaces. I want to work more with the architecture of the car, focus more on its proportions.”
The rendering released on Thursday only offers a hint of what’s to come. The sheet metal version due to debut later this year will be a much clearer indication of what Schreyer has in mind.
(Click Here for an exclusive interview with Hyundai design chief Peter Schreyer.”