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Hyundai Elantra GT Hatch Might Soon Get Tangier, If the Updated Euro-Market i30 Is Any Indication

A more prominent grille, fancier lighting, and a bigger touchscreen are headed to Hyundai's compact hatchback.

The European-market Hyundai i30 has gone under the knife and sports fresh new looks that likely preview what's soon to come for the North American-market Elantra GT hatchback. Keep in mind, the Elantra GT is a slightly different car from the Elantra sedan, and is sourced from Hyundai's European lineup where it goes up against the likes of more premium small cars such as the Volkswagen Golf.

The refreshed version of the Elantra GT's i30 Euro twin is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, with updates highlighted by slimmer headlights with V-shaped daytime running lights and a wider and pointier new grille that mimics that of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata's. Additionally, Hyundai redesigned the compact hatch's front bumper to improve its aerodynamic performance. This has the secondary effect of making the i30/Elantra GT's front end more attractive and aggressive than before.

Like the current Elantra GT, the updated i30 features a sportier N Line trim that includes more aggressive design details and a smattering of performance upgrades relative to the standard model. The i30 also comes as a slinky fastback and as a proper station wagon, but alas, we don't expect either to make it across the Atlantic to Hyundai dealers as equivalent Elantra GT variants; here, the hatchback will be the only Euro expat in the Elantra lineup. Too bad.

Complementing the i30's revised exterior is a reworked interior, which again we trust will filter down to the U.S.-market Elantra GT soon. It features an available 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, which features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Better yet, the updated i30 offers a slew of new safety features including a rear collision-avoidance assist system, a seemingly more advanced lane centering self-steering feature (the Elantra GT has only lane-keeping assist), and lead-vehicle departure alert, the latter of which tells drivers when the vehicle ahead moves forward.

Hyundai also outlined a mild-hybrid technology for the new i30. It's not known if this fuel-saving hybrid tech will make its way to the U.S.-spec Elantra GT, which currently ships with either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 161 horsepower or a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 201 ponies. Regardless, we expect the i30's updated looks and infotainment and safety technology to find its way to our market's Elantra GT in the coming months. But hey, Hyundai—as much as we'd welcome a mild-hybrid powertrain, we'd much rather see the i30 N's 250-hp turbo four-cylinder make it here for a high-performance Elantra GT alternative to the Honda Civic Si/Type R and Volkswagen Golf GTI/R.