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Recently the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Touring was spied testing in Canada, and it appears that the second generation of its Hyundai Elantra Touring model will make its American debut at the upcoming 2012 Chicago Auto Show.
The new Elantra Touring won’t be the only Elantra variant making its debut as the Korean automaker is also planning to unveil a two-door version of their popular compact. But like the current Elantra Touring model in America, the new one will surely be just like the European Hyundai i30, which debuted at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Interestingly enough, reports are coming in that Hyundai will lose the Touring badge from the model’s name, simply branding it as a five-door hatchback – perhaps trying to get away from the unhip stigma of being a wagon. It is expected to be powered by the same 1.8L engine in the current Elantra model, with 148-hp and achieve 40-mpg on the highway – if you believe Hyundai’s claims. Reports of a 200-hp turbocharged model and a plug-in hybrid variant are still a possibility.
GALLERY: 2013 Elantra Touring Spy Photos
GALLERY: European Hyundai i30 Hatch
They just love hatchbacks in Europe. In fact, they love them so much it’s possible to sell nearly identical models successfully. Could an automaker do the same in North America? Hyundai might just try and find out.
According to a report by Car & Driver the Korean automaker isn’t ruling-out selling both the Elantra Touring (Euro-market i30) and a new 5-door Veloster model here. While the Veloster is made unique by it’s single door on the driver’s side and two doors on the passenger side, Hyundai is reportedly working on a 5-door hatchback version (with two doors on each side) for right-hand drive markets like the UK.
Hyundai is big on small fuel-efficient cars, but this product duplication seems dangerous and if Hyundai takes the safe road it will leave the Veloster in its funky form to help appeal to the Gen-Y crowd, with the Elantra Touring hitting out shores some time next year.
GALLERY: 2012 Hyundai Veloster
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Touring
Discuss this story at Veloster.org
It's not an Elantra at all
Today we attended the launch of Hyundai’s latest vehicle, the Elantra Touring. You probably haven’t heard a lot about it, as it isn’t as sexy as the Genesis Sedan or Coupe models that seem to be catching all the headlines lately. It is, however, certain to sell in significantly higher volume than those other two.
Having just piloted several versions of the car, we wanted to give a brief preview of the new model and our thoughts on it before the full review runs in just a few days.
Interestingly the Elantra Touring is not an Elantra at all. It is based on the European i30 model and has it’s own unique platform.
With a 138hp 2.0-liter engine it has enough power for the segment, however, we’re not fans of the four-speed automatic. It’s actually a fine four-speed, it’s just that five-speeds are increasingly the norm these days. The five-speed manual is a fabulous alternative if you don’t mind shifting for yourself.
From the front it’s a pleasant vehicle but the car’s best sides are the profile and especially the rear, which has a definite European flavor to it – somewhat like a mini Volvo wagon.
Competing with cars like the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix the Elantra Touring is less of a crossover and more of a wagon and has a lower seating position. The up-high seating position is all the rage right now but those who prefer the drive of a sedan with a sportier edge will definitely prefer the Elantra Touring.
Impressively the Elantra Touring has gobs of interior cargo space – especially with the rear seats folded down. We’ll have full volume specs in the review but we can say that it outpaces cars like the Vibe in a big way – boasting even more cargo space than the Hummer H3!
Interior trim quality is impressive and driving dynamics are even more so – especially with the Sport Package that includes 17-inch wheels.
Check the Reviews Section soon for our full review.
Official Elantra Touring release after the jump: