Hyundai Elantra Named 2012 North American Car of the Year

DETROIT, MI, Jan. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - The 2012 Hyundai Elantra took top honors in the most exclusive automotive award in North America when it was named 2012 North American Car of the Year today.

A jury of 50 independent North American automotive journalists, including 5 Canadians, evaluated each of the new cars introduced last year and chose the 2012 Hyundai Elantra as the winner. The award was announced during a news conference at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, marking Hyundai's second win. The Hyundai Genesis was named North American Car of the Year in 2009.

"This most prestigious of awards is a great illustration of why Elantra was one of the best-selling cars in Canada last year," noted Steve Kelleher, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. "Given the fierce competition in the compact segment, especially here in Canada, we are honoured that the jury recognizes Elantra's far-reaching impact on the industry."

The jurors considered more than 50 new vehicles before selecting the top three cars and top three trucks. The Volkswagen Passat and Ford Focus were the other car finalists. This is the 19th year of the awards, which were inspired by the prestigious European "Car of the Year." The jury is administered by an organizing committee and funded exclusively with dues paid by the jurors. Jurors judge the cars on a number of factors including innovation, impact on the industry, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value for the dollar.

Elantra exemplifies Hyundai's emotional "Fluidic Sculpture" design principles. "Fluidic Sculpture" considers the interplay of wind with rigid surfaces to create the illusion of constant motion. Elantra is an evolution of the design qualities found in Sonata.

Elantra's sides have the same flowing lines found on Sonata, paired with a strong undercut feature line starting at the front door. These lines, along with muscular wheel arches and a sleek roofline, create a memorable and spacious package. The styling serves a purpose beyond aesthetics, endowing the vehicle with a slippery shape. The drag coefficient for the Elantra is an exceptionally low 0.28, comparing favourably to the Chevrolet Volt's 0.29.

Hyundai's signature hexagonal front grille and detailed swept-back headlights give Elantra a compact, athletic face. The assertive stance is complimented by 15-, 16-, or 17-inch wheels and athletic proportions. Available fog lamps and side repeater mirrors complete the distinctive design. Elantra was designed at Hyundai's North American Design Center in Irvine, California and is built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing in Montgomery, Alabama.

A long list of advanced technologies are utilized to help the 2012 Elantra deliver class-leading fuel economy without the need for an expensive "eco" package:

  • Nu 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine (148 horsepower, 131 lb-ft of torque)
  • 6-speed automatic and manual transmissions
  • Adaptive alternator
  • Low rolling resistance silica tires
  • Weight reduction (28 kg vs. previous generation)
  • Improved coefficient of drag (0.28 vs. 0.32 for previous generation)

Elantra achieves fuel economy ratings of 6.8 L/100 km in the city and 4.9 L/100 km on the highway with the standard 6-speed manual. Opting for the 6-speed automatic adds only 0.1 L/100 km to the vehicle's city fuel consumption rating. Putting these figures into a different context, Elantra has a highway range of nearly 1,000km.

The Elantra's North American Car of the Year award follows a string of others, including being named Best New Small Car under $21,000 by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). With this category win, Elantra is also in contention to be named AJAC's 2012 Canadian Car of the Year when the award is announced in February at the Canadian International Auto Show.

The Elantra's critical acclaim was achieved in parallel with unprecedented sales success. With sales of 44,970 units, the Elantra nameplate played a key role in Hyundai's best-ever year in Canada. In 2011 Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. set a new all-time annual record with total sales of 129,240 units, an increase of 9.1% relative to the previous record set in 2010.

Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., established in 1983 and headquartered in Markham, Ontario, is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout Canada by Hyundai Auto Canada and are sold and serviced through more than 200 dealerships nationwide.

Image with caption: "The 2012 Hyundai Elantra has been named North American Car of the Year (CNW Group/Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.)". Image available at:

SOURCE Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.

For further information:

For interviews or additional information, please contact:

Oles Gadacz, Public Relations Director, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
Office: (905) 948-6819, Mobile: (416) 571-8273, Email:

Chad Heard, Public Relations Manager, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
Office: (905) 948-6712, Mobile: (416) 559-9640, Email:

Patrick Danielson, Public Relations Specialist, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.
Office: (905) 948-6876, Email:


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