Hyundai introduces 2011 Elantra with 40 mpg highway as standard; 18% improvement compared with predecessor
|2011 Elantra. Click to enlarge.|
Hyundai staged the global debut of its fifth-generation, 2011 Elantra at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Elantra is powered by a new 1.8-liter Nu four-cylinder engine with 148 hp (110 kW) and 131 lb-ft (178 N·m) of torque (145 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque for Elantra PZEV variant).
The Nu engine was developed to replace the 2.0-liter Beta engine from the previous generation Elantra. The Nu is smaller in size, weighs 74 pounds (33.6 kg) less and helps achieve an 18% improvement in highway fuel economy, when compared with its predecessor. The 2011 Elantra delivers fuel economy of 29 mpg city (8.1L/100km)and 40 mpg (5.9 L/100km) highway, with the six-speed automatic transmission or manual transmission. These figures give Elantra a highway-only driving range of up to 500 miles.
|Fuel economy improvements|
|Nu 1.8L engine vs. Beta 2.0L engine||7.4%|
|6-speed AT vs. 4-speed AT||4.1%|
|LRR silica tires||1.4%|
The Nu engine features an aluminum block with a cast iron cylinder liner, cylinder head and crank. This configuration results in a block that is 30% lighter than an iron block, shedding more than 74 pounds off the entire engine weight, while still providing comparable strength.
The 1.8-liter Nu also offers Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT) camshafts and hydraulic engine mounts for optimum power, efficiency and refinement. Using D-CVVT on both camshafts has several advantages when compared with using it just on the intake camshaft, Hyundai says. These include a 2% improvement in performance (increased volumetric efficiency); 2% improvement in fuel economy (reduced pumping loss); and a 30% reduction in hydrocarbon emissions.
In the valvetrain, roller swing arms and hydraulic lash adjusters reduce valve driven friction to improve fuel economy one percent compared with direct valve driving. The Nu engine also features a maintenance-free silent timing chain system to enhance durability and improve Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH).
The application of a plastic two-stage Variable Intake System (VIS) enables switching between long and short intake manifolds, resulting in an across-the-board performance increase. These result in a 4% improvement in performance, a 15% reduction in cost and 30% reduction in weight, when compared with aluminum.
Another tool Hyundai engineers have incorporated into the next generation Elantra is an electronic throttle control. The electronic throttle control replaces the conventional cable and mechanical linkage found in the previous generation Elantra with fast responding electronics. This system accurately controls air intake and engine torque, improving drivability, response and fuel economy.
Hyundai’s first application of double-pipe plumbing (internal heat exchanger) is found in Elantra. Double-pipe plumbing improves cabin cooling performance, while minimizing the capacity of the compressor, which further reduces fuel consumption. An external controlled variable compressor is also used to improve fuel efficiency versus an internal variable compressor. The Nu four-cylinder engine also has an offset crankshaft design that reduces friction between the piston and cylinder wall for a 1% improvement in fuel economy.
Six-speed transmissions. The 2011 Elantra can be equipped with a six-speed manual (M6CF3-1) or automatic (A6GF1) transaxle with SHIFTRONIC manual control. The 2011 Elantra is the first small car in the Hyundai lineup to receive a six-speed automatic. Hyundai now has its own six-speed automatic transmissions in its small, medium and large FWD cars. Hyundai is also only one of four global car manufacturers building their own unique six-speed automatic transmissions.
The all-new six-speed automatic is 11 pounds (5 kg) lighter than Hyundai’s global five-speed and 17 pounds (7.7 kg) lighter than the five-speed automatic found in Honda Civic. It is considerably simpler, having 62 fewer parts, which is a key to increased durability, lighter weight and lower cost. It also features a super flat torque converter that shortens the unit’s overall length by 0.43 inches, while being 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg) lighter.
This transmission mated to the 1.8-liter Nu engine helps Elantra deliver improved fuel efficiency—11 percent more than its closest competitors and a 4% gain in fuel economy, according to Hyundai.
The 2011 Elantra’s six-speed manual transmission is also all-new and provides crisp shifts and further optimizes engine performance. These crisp shifts are courtesy of triple-cone synchronizers for first and second gears, double-cone for third gear and single-cone for fourth, fifth and sixth gears.
The Elantra’s widespread use of high-strength steel provides a 37% increase in body stiffness at a lower body weight. High-strength steel allows the suspension to work optimally. At 2,701 pounds (1,225 kg), the automatic transmission Elantra GLS is lighter than its competitors, while offering more interior room than Focus, Cruze, Civic and Corolla, with body-bending rigidity 50% higher than the Corolla. This weight-efficient unibody architecture allows for Elantra to achieve the estimated 40 mpg EPA highway rating without the need for a special eco model.
The 2011 Elantra heads to the market with a starting price of $14,380.