Fear not, hatchback fans. According to Hyundai CEO John Krafcik, the next-generation Hyundai Elantra Touring will debut in late 2012 as a 2013 model. Krafcik tells Autoblog that while the Elantra sedan is styled specifically for the American market, the Elantra Touring is being penned with European customers in mind. The company sells a long-roof version of the Elantra in the old country under the i30 banner, but from what we understand, American buyers will get a taste of the next-generation vehicle in about two years.
"We launched the Elantra touring a couple of years after we launched the Elantra and we're going to have the same model cycle for Elantra Touring here," Krafcik said. "We're going to get the next-generation i30 here in the U.S. market in a couple of years."
But don't expect the vehicle to share too much DNA with the old long-roof Elantra. Krafcik tells AB that the new Touring will be significantly different from the model on sale right now: "It's a great design. The Elantra Touring design actually came out of our California studio. We're going to go with the shorter five-door hatchback bodystyle instead of the larger wagon style we have now."
That means that when it debuts, the 2013 Elantra Touring will be squaring off against the likes 2012 Ford Focus and Mazda3 in a big way. While no one at Hyundai was willing to say exactly how much fuel economy we can plan on seeing from the five-door Elantra, we'd be surprised to see the figures slip much below the 29 mpg city and 40 mpg highway of the sedan.