By Craig Cole Feb 09, 2017

The all-new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback was just revealed at the Chicago Auto Show.

Lower, wider, longer and more stylish than before, this iteration of Hyundai’s popular hatchback is now based on its European i30 model. Accordingly, it should provide a better driving experience along with more advanced features.

Providing a solid foundation for all of this is a new structure that’s comprised of 53 percent high-strength steel. This advanced material helps make the new Elantra GT 22 percent more rigid than before while cutting about 60 pounds from the vehicle’s basic structure.

Thanks to clever engineering, this new hatchback should also be a good bit roomier than rivals, offering nearly 97 cubic feet of passenger volume. As for cargo space, there are just shy of 25 cubes to be had behind the rear seat and more than 55 with the backrest folded flat. These figures outclass all major rivals and could allow the Elantra to be classified as a large car.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Two versions of this vehicle will be offered, including a standard GT model and a GT Sport. The former features a 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine providing an estimated 162 horsepower. It can be paired with either a manual or automatic transmission, both of which have six speeds.

As for the GT Sport, it has received a host of significant performance upgrades including a 1.6-liter turbo-four providing an estimated 201 horses and 195 lb-ft of torque. Around back, it ditches the standard car’s torsion-beam suspension in favor of a fully independent multi-link setup. Drivers are also treated to standard 18-inch alloy wheels and larger brakes at all four corners.

In typical Hyundai fashion, the new Elantra GT should offer tons of standard equipment. LED daytime running lamps are included at no extra cost, as is an eight-inch display audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Juicy extras include things like smart cruise control with stop-start capability, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and more. Dual-zone climate control and wireless device charging are also on the options menu.

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is one of the most exciting reveals at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. It looks like an engaging and eminently practical small car, but we won’t know that for sure until closer to its on-sale date, which should be this summer.

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