Hyundai’s all-new 2017 Hyundai Elantra arrives in dealerships this month, featuring two new, more efficient powertrains; lower weight; improved stiffness, and a number of safety and connectivity technologies. Elantra is one of Hyundai’s all-time best-selling models; the 2017 version starts at $17,150—$100 less than the award-winning model it replaces.
The standard engine available on the base SE and Limited trim is a 2.0-liter Nu MPI (multi-port injection) Atkinson four-cylinder engine producing a peak 147 hp (110 kW) at 6,200 rpm and 132 lb-ft (179 N·m of torque at 4,500 rpm.
This Atkinson cycle-type engine reduces pumping loss by delaying the close timing of the intake valve in the compression stroke, therefore maximizing the expansion ratio—it is the only Atkinson cycle engine to be combined with multi-port injection in the compact class. This greater expansion ratio is made more efficient by allowing additional energy to be produced. Furthermore, this engine features a high compression ratio of 12.5.
Other enhancements include intermediate valve cam phasing that increases the operational range of the intake valves and helps to reduce pumping loss. High energy ignition coils are also adopted to increase combustion efficiency through increasing spark intensity. A new electronically controlled thermostat decreases pumping energy and allows the thermostat to open at a higher temperature.
Finally, piston cooling jets are added to cool down the piston by spraying oil at the lower position of the piston resulting in knock stability and fuel economy improvements.
All of this results in up to a 2.2% increase in efficiency for optimized fuel economy, and up to an EPA fuel economy rating of 29 city / 38 highway / 33 combined mpg (for the Elantra SE with 6-A/T).
This 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder engine is paired with either a standard six-speed manual transmission (available only on the SE trim) or Elantra’s next generation six-speed automatic transmission. The new automatic transmission helps deliver dynamic performance with an overall 3.3% increase in efficiency for optimized fuel economy.
A new valve body improves gear shift responsiveness and control, while an optimization in oil pump size aids in improving operating efficiency. A multi-clutch torque converter is also a new addition that allows more control over lock-up. Finally, rolling resistance and friction are minimized by adopting double angular ball bearings.
The second powertrain is an all-new 1.4-liter Kappa turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine equipped on the Elantra Eco trim, available in Spring 2016. This engine produces 128 hp (95 kW) at 5,500 rpm and 156 lb-ft (212 N·m) of torque at a low 1,400 ~ 3,700 rpm and will be mated to an EcoShift seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Eco trim is projected to achieve an estimated 35 mpg combined rating based on internal testing.
Other features of the 1.4L turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine include an integrated cylinder head and exhaust manifold that improves fuel economy 5~7% at higher engine speeds. An optimized straight intake port increases tumble flow for fast combustion, suppressing knock tendency and improving fuel economy.
The turbocharger is a single scroll design with an electric wastegate actuator. The optimized turbine and compressor employs a scavenging strategy that improves low-end torque and response, while the electric wastegate actuator improves low-end torque and part-load fuel economy by reducing back pressure. Finally, the high pressure fuel injectors have six individually sized laser-drilled holes to optimize the fuel spray pattern.
Both engines feature a multitude of friction-reducing and cooling components and high efficiency engineering features designed to enhance fuel economy and maximize performance.
In addition, all Elantra trims are equipped with the new Drive Mode Select feature that adjusts both powertrain performance and steering effort, allowing the driver to customize the driving character by selecting from three modes: Eco, Normal or Sport, simply by touching a button on the center console.
Chassis. The 2017 Elantra is lighter than the outgoing model, and its rigid chassis is now reinforced with 53% advanced high-strength steel compared with 21% from the previous model, providing improved stiffness at a lower body weight.
This increased usage results in a 29.5% stiffer torsional rigidity and 25.3% greater bending strength, which bring improvements in vehicle ride and handling, quietness, durability and driving performance.
Furthermore, the new Elantra increased structural adhesive application 40 times at higher stress points on the chassis and to reinforce welding areas. A component often found in aerospace applications, these structural adhesives also contribute to improved NVH and vehicle dynamics due to extra stiffness in the chassis. Hyundai engineers focused on these enhancements to develop a more rigid body structure in an effort to target top safety ratings by the IIHS and NHTSA.
Improved ride comfort, handling and stability are achieved through Elantra’s redesigned rear suspension geometry that modifies the angle of the rear shock absorbers and changed the position of the coil springs on the coupled torsion beam axle. Additionally, an increase in rear bushing diameter helps to improve long term durability.
Elantra’s front suspension uses an optimally designed McPherson strut with coil springs and gas shock absorbers along with a front stabilizer bar to help reduce body roll when cornering. The standard Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system instantly adjusts to changing driving conditions for greater precision and steering feel while improving fuel economy. Increased caster provides safe and reliable steering feedback at highway speeds.
Safety technologies. New for 2017, the Elantra also offers a wide array of advanced safety technologies, often reserved for luxury cars, to provide another defensive safety layer for its passengers beyond the standard safety system. Available Automatic Emergency Braking with class-exclusive Pedestrian Detection is a technology that utilizes both the front forward facing radar and camera through sensor fusion to detect a vehicle or pedestrian, and warn the driver of a potential collision. If the driver does not react to avoid the impact, the system will apply emergency braking.
Additional Elantra-first safety technologies include available Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist System, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist, and a rearview camera, now with dynamic guidance. The Lane Keep Assist System uses a forward-facing camera to detect lane markings and will alert the driver if the vehicle drifts outside the lane without signaling. The system will apply corrective steering assistance if necessary, and is another active safety tool to assist Elantra drivers and help prevent accidents.
Connectivity. All Elantras come standard with iPhone/USB and auxiliary input jacks and SiriusXM satellite radio. New for 2017, the Elantra features two advanced infotainment systems beyond the base audio system that perfectly cater to the digitally connected—an available 7.0-inch Display Audio touchscreen system with rearview camera, and Hyundai’s next-generation 8.0-inch navigation system. Both multimedia systems are equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support for seamless and intuitive operation of the most commonly used smartphone functions including app-based navigation, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities, plus any approved smartphone apps. Since smartphone integration currently requires a wired connection to the vehicle, Elantra provides an available second USB port for charging—the first application on a Hyundai vehicle.
The advanced 8.0-inch navigation system features an enhanced display with improved touch sensitivity for touch and drag control, increased screen brightness for better daytime visibility, and a split-screen display showing map and music data.
The 2017 Elantra also offers the next-generation Hyundai Blue Link system with enhanced safety, service and infotainment telematics. Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology such as Remote Start w/ Climate Control, Destination Search powered by Google, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link can be easily accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror, the web or via smartphone app. Some of these features can even be controlled via the latest Android Wear and new Apple Watch smartwatch offerings.
Blue Link is offered in three service packages: Connected Care & Remote is available on all models and Guidance is available on Navigation-equipped models. 2017 Elantras equipped with Blue Link offer one year of complimentary Blue Link Connected Care.