A sporty coupe wasn’t the only new Elantra variant Hyundai had planned for this week’s 2012 Chicago Auto Show.

The South Korean automaker has also used the event to unveil its new 2013 Elantra GT, a practical five-door hatch version of the award-winning Elantra sedan.

The new 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT is scheduled to hit showrooms this summer where it will compete with the likes of the Ford Focus, Mazda Mazda3, and the Volkswagen Golf.

Hyundai is keen to stress that the Elantra GT shares much in common with its European cousin, the i30, and also boasts that it is the lightest vehicle in the compact segment. It tips the scales at just 2,784 pounds thanks to use of high-strength steel in its construction, allowing it to weigh around 175 pounds less than the Focus and 222 pounds less than the Golf.

Having a light curb weight means that the Elantra GT will not only be very fuel efficient, but it should be a strong performer in acceleration, handling, and brake tests. Hyundai promises a gas mileage of 28/39 mpg city/highway when equipped with the manual and slightly worse figures with the auto.

Its engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, which can be ordered with a standard six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic. Peak output comes in at 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque.

Inside, the Elantra GT gives buyers more interior volume than the Matrix, Golf, Mazda3 or Ford Focus. Since the rear seat cushions tilt upward, the rear seat backs can fold flat, giving the Elantra GT more cargo room than a Nissan Juke. Split rear seats allow owners to haul a variety of passengers, cargo or both.

Standard goodies include a cooled glove box, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, a six-speaker, 172-watt audio system with USB and auxiliary input jacks and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system.

While you wait for the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT’s arrival in showrooms this summer, click here to see what else this week’s Chicago Auto Show has to offer.


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