Set to be unveiled later today at the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai is expanding its Elantra lineup with a two-door coupe.
De-dooring the Elantra is part of the company’s strategy to pull younger buyers in who they say are willing to sacrifice practicality for coupe appeal. It’s also a product targeted squarely at the Honda Civic Coupe, which has retained its dominance in the category despite rivals like the Kia Forte Koup and Scion tC.
The coupe is pretty-much the same as the sedan, featuring standard Hyundai sensibilities like heated seats, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity and more.
In keeping with the push toward a younger crowd, the Coupe gets a few sport-inspired touches, though people purchasing these cars are anything but track junkies. The same 1.8-liter 148-hp four delivers power to the front wheels with Hyundai’s homemade six-speed manual or automatic.
The Coupe won’t however, join the rest of the 40-mpg club in Hyundai’s lineup, missing the bar slightly with a 39 mpg highway rating. Still, a 33 mpg average isn’t half bad and driving enthusiasts can get there with an entertaining 6-speed stick.
Consumers can choose from two trim levels, the base GS or premium SE. Both come with generous standard equipment, but the nicer accouterments like leather seats remain reserved for SE buyers. The wheels also get an inch bigger for the SE, growing from 16 to 17 inches. Finally, an optional technology package is again withheld from the lower-end model but includes a 7-inch infotainment system, rear-view camera, an upgraded stereo and other cool stuff like proximity key entry, push-button start and more.
The sportier SE model gets a stiffer suspension that Hyundai says is designed for the car’s lower-profile tires. Despite getting the coupe treatment, the EPA classifies this as a mid-size car, which is interesting because it competes directly with compacts like the Honda Civic coupe and Kia Forte Koup which are both badged as compacts. Hyundai says it will deliver the best of both worlds (two door sex appeal and rear passenger roominess).
Regardless of the extra bulk, the car still manages to wiggle in between the Honda and Kia’s power to weight ratios, meaning customers can walk *erm drive away without feeling much buyer’s remorse.
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe Reveal
For more on the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, see our complete coverage here.
Watch video of the Elantra Coupe below: