The 2011 Elantra may have been one of Hyundai's worst-kept secrets. Aside from releasing a self-taken spy shot, the Korean automaker already debuted the Elantra in the form of the Avante, the version destined for Hyundai's home market. Last week, we told you about the new sedan's ability to achieve 40 miles per gallon on the highway, and finally, we now have the official images and details about the Elantra bound for the U.S. And we must say, it's quite a looker.
Hyundai has made quite an impression with its "fluidic sculpture" design language, most recently with the updated Tucson crossover and Sonata sedan. The new Elantra's design is tied to the rest of the family with its strong side character lines, wraparound taillamps and hexagonal grille. We can't wait to see what it looks like in deep red or black.
As previously reported, the 2011 Elantra will be powered by an all-new 1.8-liter inline-four that produces 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. Curiously, Hyundai has not seen fit to utilize its new 1.8-liter mill with direct injection, but the automaker's North American CEO, John Krafcik, tells us not to rule out the addition of GDI direct injection on future versions of the Elantra. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Elantra will return a ultra-respectable 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Hyundai says that 40 mpg is attainable on the full range of Elantra trims, unlike the Chevrolet Cruze and upcoming Ford Focus which need to be optioned a certain way to achieve such a lofty fuel economy figure.
Official trim levels and pricing specifications will be released closer to the sedan's official debut at the LA Auto Show later this week, and we can expect the Elantra to arrive at dealerships before the end of the year. In the meantime, scroll through our high-res gallery below to see the new Elantra from all angles.