Rumor has it that Hyundai is developing a Honda Civic Si competitor with its 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport. But is the Elantra Sport even a worthy competitor to the Honda Civic Si?
Just last week Hyundai pulled the wraps off its value-packed 2017 Hyundai Elantra. According to our motoring friends over at Left Lane news on a bit of inside information earlier Monday, Hyundai is developing a rival to the Honda Civic Si with their own Hyundai Elantra Sport. So far we know that Hyundai has the Civic Si and the Volkswagen Jetta GLI aimed squarely in its crosshairs. With a more powerful engine, a new rear suspension setup and a dual-clutch automatic transmission, Hyundai hopes to sway a couple of buyers away from the all new Honda Civic Si and VW Jetta GLI. But Honda Civic Si? Really?
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The base engine right now in the Hyundai Elantra is a naturally aspirated 2.0 liter inline four cylinder that makes 147 HP and 132 lb-ft of torque. Left Lane says that Hyundai will supplement power by throwing in a 1.6L Turbo that will make 200 HP. The Hyundai Veloster Turbo currently has a powerplant with those credentials, so we can imagine Hyundai will swap that engine in.
That horrible twist-beam rear suspension, while comfortable, will be ditched in favor of an independent rear suspension bringing this car into the 21st century (as far as handling is concerned.) And although Elantra already offers a standard six-speed manual, the Sport will offer a dual-clutch automatic.
Honda has yet to reveal the specs on its 2017 Honda Civic Si. Rumors are abound that the Civic Si will sport a detuned Type R motor to the tune of 230 HP. Although we doubt Honda will swap in the running gear from the Type as well, we suspect Honda to seriously tune this 10th gen Civic Si to be a real barn burner compared to the 9th Gen Civic Si.
We already know that the standard 2016 Civic 1.5T is already faster than the 9th gen Civic Si, so we can only imagine how much faster the 10th gen Si will be.
But will this Elantra Sport be a worthy Civic Si Slayer? Confidently, probably not. Reviews are already out for the new Civic, and with an all-new chassis underneath, tight steering, renewed sense of lightness and a slick six-speed as is, the base Honda Civic is already a winner. To build on that foundation will make a more than capable Civic Si.
Suspension-wise, we can only guess but we’re giving that to Honda as well. You can’t throw on an independent rear suspension onto a chassis that previously had a twist beam rear and call it sporty.
Sure, Hyundai’s turbocharged 1.6 might offer passable performance but reviewers have pegged the 1.6 Turbo in the Veloster to be dull and uninspiring. Unless Hyundai revamps their 1.6 Turbo, as far as refined performance goes, Honda will take the cake.
Hyundai is best at offering value and they should stick to it. Some buyers might be swayed away from the Si to an Elantra Sport, but a quick test drive between the two (when that becomes a possibility) will reveal a chasm of difference between them both.