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Car and Driver: A True Independent: 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport To Get Independent Rear Suspension, 200-plus Horsepower

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2017 Hyunda Elantra Limited

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The Avente Sport that Hyundai unveiled in South Korea is more or less the car that will be shipped to our shores as the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport. Avente is Elantra; Elantra is Avente.

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We’ve been aware of Hyundai’s intentions to add a more powerful Sport trim to its all-new Elantra sedan for some time now, writing in our first-drive review in February that we were “bound by secrecy not to discuss the Sport too much, but it may just have a major technical change between its rear wheels that does not involve propulsion.”

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Yes, the Elantra Sport will remain front-wheel drive, just like all other Elantras, but it will ditch the standard car’s torsion-beam rear end and replace it with an independent multilink rear suspension. We’ve been told the Elantra Sport’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will produce “more than” 200 horsepower, or at least 37 percent more power than the 2.0-liter four-cylinder that powers most Elantra models. And for what it’s worth, the Avente Sport makes 201 horsepower.

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In the Korean-market car, power is channeled to the ground via a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Stateside, Hyundai already pairs the 1.6-liter turbo with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in both the Sonata Eco and most Tucson models; a manual option hasn’t been confirmed for our Elantra Sport, but we’d expect it to make the cut.

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Along with the aforementioned mechanical changes, the Elantra Sport also will get bolder looks to better match its sporting nature. Expect the Avente Sport’s aggressive front and rear fascias, attractive wheels, and integrated side skirts, as well as the interior’s flat-bottom steering wheel and unique trim, to appear on the Elantra Sport. Hyundai plans to unveil the American-grade 2017 Elantra Sport at the SEMA show in November.

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