We're not sure what we find more compelling about the teaser for the seventh-generation, 2021 Hyundai Elantra — Hyundai claiming this one "returns to its sport sedan roots," or the "Parametric Dynamics" design language that's resulted in a distinctive look for the small four-door. We'll go with the latter, which, even though it sounds like marketing-speak, does have basis in reality: Wikipedia defines parametric design as "a paradigm in design where the relationship between elements is used to manipulate and inform the design of complex geometries and structures." What that means for us is a Elantra with a "polyhedral appearance" along its flanks where three lines converge into a point in the middle of the front doors. That aesthetic gem is set into a longer, lower profile massaged to look more like a four-door coupe.
In addition to the new platform providing extra length, the sedan is also wider. Combined with the reshaped flanks, the faster backlight flowing into a longer rear, and the angled rear fascia, the new profile reduces the appearance of static bulk in the current Elantra. Elsewhere around the car, the brief shot of the front end shows off an even wider Cascading Grille with prominent 3D elements above a new lower intake design. In back, a full-width taillight design akin to the new Sonata is capped by vertical elements at the edges.
Inside, a sketch reveals a minimalist, horizontally-focused cockpit. The four-spoke steering wheel has been handed down from the new Sonata. The digital instrument cluster and large infotainment display form a seamless unit above a full-length climate control vent. A reshaped gear lever hides behind what could be a large, contrasting-tone design element intended to reinforce a driver-centric feel.
With the sixth-gen Elantra having arrived in 2017 and been refreshed in 2019, it's likely Hyundai will stick with the current trio of four-cylinder engines available now for our market.
Hyundai will livestream the debut of the 2021 Elantra, which will go down at The Lot Studios in West Hollywood, California, on March 17 at 7 p.m. Pacific Time. The sedan is expected on dealer lots in September.