The official reveal of the all-new Hyundai i30 hatchback was today at the Paris Motor Show. If the name doesn't mean much to you, that's no surprise. You'll probably know it by its North American name, the Elantra GT.
The old car was full of swoops, scallops and curves, but the new one gets straight lines, sharp headlights and Hyundai's new "cascading grille". The new car is the first step in a new direction for Hyundai styling. It's less daring than their previous designs, but it is a good, clean look and should translate well across their lineup.
Inside, the dashboard is less driver-centered than the Elantra sedan (the i30 and Elantra sedan are very different cars). It also has a more upscale look, with smoother lines. The infotainment system protrudes prominently from the dash, but doesn't look as tacked-on as some of the competition's systems. The interface will feature Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration. Safety systems such as emergency braking, radar cruise control, lane guidance and blind spot detection are all available.
The new i30 uses more high-strength steel to deliver a lighter curb weight and a more rigid body for improved handling. The car was developed on the famous Nürburgring to balance ride comfort with handling responsiveness.
A number of engines will be available at launch – the one we're most likely to see is a 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder making 140 hp. The next generation i30 will also feature Hyundai's first N brand high-performance model, though it's not clear if we'll get that one here in Canada.
The all-new i30 goes on sale in Europe and other markets in early 2017. There's no word on when the Elantra GT will arrive on our shores, but that's likely for next year as well.