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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

U.S. Market 2011 Hyundai Elantra Debut - World Exclusive

The hotly anticipated 2011 Hyundai Elantra is about to make its official debut next week in Los Angeles. With the runaway success of the midsize Hyundai Sonata, this smaller sedan has a lot of Hyundai admirers licking their chops, waiting to see if this Korean automaker can keep up its recent momentum and deliver another solid hit.

In fact, the anticipation is so great that over the past couple of days numerous automotive websites have been running a silly photo of one of Hyundai's reps looking mock-shocked that the new 2012 Elantra behind him has been discovered. It's a shameless tease that is totally scripted and set up for the cameras. Besides that, the car is still almost completely covered with camo.

If you really want to see what the new 2011 Hyundai Elantra will look like when it reaches dealer showrooms in a month or two, then take a look at these world exclusive photos of the first U.S. spec Elantra on the planet. Hyundai CEO John Krafcik actually drove the car down to Cars and Coffee a few weeks ago, much to the chagrin of the marketing guys who wanted the car to stay under wraps until its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week.

John couldn't contain his enthusiasm and just had to take the new little car out for a spin. As you can tell from the photos, the U.S. spec Elantra looks an awful lot like the foreign-market one shown a few months ago, but there are a few small differences. It picks up on the flowing lines of the Sonata and rather handsomely translates that design language down to a smaller scale. The Mazda3 has nothing on this new Elantra. Well, maybe the fact that there won't be a Hyndaispeed version of the Elantra anytime soon, but in the looks department, this is instantly at the top of the class.

The Elantra will take on not only the established players, but also the new Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus as well, so it is a good thing that it has something to make it stand out from the crowd. The looks are great, but it's the 40 mpg fuel economy estimates that are really noteworthy. All of the details will be spelled out when the car is introduced properly in L.A. but until then, take a look at these photos - the first photos of this American market Elenatra ever published.

If it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn a bit here, know that these pics have been sitting on the desktops of several automotive publications for a few weeks now and every last one of them turned down the chance to run them, even though almost every one of those same outlets ran the stupid contrived Hyundai tease. Oh well. Their loss is your gain I guess.

Link to photos

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