EXCLUSIVE: Hyundai confirms a new Sport model for the 2017 Elantra, why this might not suck [UPDATED]

UPDATE: We’ve added a graphic from the 2017 Hyundai Elantra’s launch presentation, confirming the arrival of the Sport trim. Check it out after the jump!

There was a time and a place when nobody would ever even consider purchasing a Korean car of any type, simply because they had a poor reputation for reliability and cheap quality…and that’s because, well, they were cheap. Back then, you Hoped You Understood Nothing Was Drivable And Inexpensive…

You’ve heard me say it over and over again however recently, whether in my reviews or just news about the automaker. But I’m a supporter of the underdog and I still applaud Hyundai for their insanely successful turnaround as a competitor in the mainstream market. Simply, Hyundai, and even their sisterly company, Kia, do not suck any more. And things just seem to be getting better and better.

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

Let’s just do a quick rundown of why this is the case. Besides the fact they’ve exhibited significant growth over the past decade in the numbers, they speak for themselves. All of their cars have some competitive edge in one of the stiffest segment in the industry and they’re faring very well. That’s because they have a few tricks up their sleeves.

For instance, they have the famous Peter Schreyer as their chief design officer, of both Hyundai and Kia, whose profoundly notable work involved many many many Audi models, especially the timeless TT. Not to mention, they just scooped up former Bentley designer, Luc Donkerwolke. So they are well-off in the aesthetics department.

For driving dynamics, which yes, they do care about, Hyundai even scooped up former chief engineer of BMW M, Albert Biermann. For two automakers, once loathed in the auto industry, to have that sort of team roster is nothing short of insane, especially when you consider these are companies competing with world champions in the mainstream market, like Honda and Toyota, and then some.

It all speaks for itself.

So that’s why it’s actually exciting to hear Hyundai’s new compact competitor will get a new Sport trim, and here’s what we know. The new 2017 Hyundai Elantra’s national launch for the media world recently and the executive team shared some slight details on the new model during the Elantra’s presentation.

A power output of around 200hp is expected from some sort of turbo four, and yes, it will have a manual rower as an option, as well as a whole range of modifications to the suspension and the steering. That’s Mr. Biermann, at work folks.

But what’s really exciting, is just grasping the fact that Hyundai has a serious industry player behind their back in charge of a department that car enthusiasts care about–handling and performance.

So from the sounds of this new Elantra Sport, they could have a Honda Civic Si competitor on the way. There was no mention of the Elantra GT hatch, but even if we got a Sport version of the Elantra GT five-door, you’d have a hot hatch Volkswagen GTI competitor from the company. Doesn’t that sound great?

But just imagine the possibilities beyond that, especially now that they have their luxury Genesis brand established.

Korea’s gettin’ serious now, and it’s time to really watch out. What’s not cool about supporting the underdog?

– By: Chris Chin

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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