In February, the Chicago Auto Show will be home to hundreds of vehicle debuts. Wanting to get some attention from the bustling auto show, the VP of Corporate Product Planning, Mike O’Brien, has revealed that Hyundai will be launching a new vehicle in Chicago. Of course, many of you are wondering what the hell this vehicle is. Hyundai is already stuffed to the gills with sedans and crossovers, and are doing quite well. For those of you who have been paying attention to what’s going on across the ocean — particularly at the Paris Motor Show last year — you are probably thinking it’s going to be the American version of the i30.
If you were right, that would mean the current Hyundai Elantra GT is finally going to get a refresh, and enter its second generation. Of course, I – and other car enthusiasts – could be completely off the mark. But, it makes sense for the company to release an American version of the i30 as the Elantra GT. Even if we are wrong, most of us are fairly certain about what it won’t be.
What It Won’t Be
It won’t be a truck. Well, it could be. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hyundai tried cashing in on the pickup truck market. The company did debut the Santa Cruz pickup truck as a concept last year, after all. But, it won’t be. Simply because O’Brien confirmed that no truck would be revealed by Hyundai.
And, it won’t be another family sedan or crossover. Like I said above, Hyundai is already sitting around fat and happy from the success of its Elantra, Santa Fe, and other long-running models in the lineup. It would just be cumbersome for the company to try and produce another cookie-cutter vehicle like that at this point.
Therefore, I’m fairly confident it’s none of those mentioned above. Now, let’s take a look at why an Elantra GT makes sense.
Why An Elantra GT Makes Sense
The i30 was debuted last year at the Paris Motor Show, and has enjoyed some moderate success. The current Elantra GT is about four years old now, and has received no major updates since it was first released. It’s still running on a 1.8-liter engine, which is barely seen in vehicles produced in 2016-2017.
This reveal could give the Elantra GT a chance to sit on an entirely new platform, and get a more efficient and more powerful 1.6-liter engine thrown under the hood. It’s also a safe bet simply because the i30 that was revealed last year looks exactly like the 2017 Elantra GT. Meaning, it’s a pretty likely that we’ll see an updated American version of that vehicle in the form of a redesigned and revamped Elantra GT.
Again, this is still speculation at this point. But, speculation based off trends we’ve seen for years with automakers, and from other credible sources.
Fingers crossed, it would be nice for the Elantra GT to catch a breath of fresh air. I feel like Hyundai could really see overall sales go up courtesy of a revamped and revealed GT, especially with the current popularity of hatchbacks.