Hyundai is working on a brand new version of its Elantra sedan that we can confirm today will go on sale at the end of the year as a 2011 model. We’ve already seen it on a number of occasions testing in prototype form, although so far it’s always been heavily camouflaged, but the South Korean version of the car, the Avante, was recently launched overseas.
Hyundai has ambitious plans for its new Elantra compact sedan, with as many as 400,000 annuals sales predicted by 2012. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem considering its decisively more upmarket look and feel.
Compared to the previous generation Elantra, the new 2011 model has been enlarged by one inch and the axles are now two inches further apart. Key details include a sloping, coupe-like profile, tapered back headlights and a square rump. Prototypes of the car have been spotted testing in both South Korea and the U.S., often alongside rival models like the Honda Civic and Kia Forte.
Power is expected to come from Hyundai’s latest 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. A smaller 1.6-liter unit may also be available.