It's not a vent. It's not a speaker.
Hyundai debuted its new Elantra last night, showing the world a completely overhauled design for its compact sedan. Following the quirky design language of the bigger Sonata, the new Elantra is full of little details that culminate into a very eye-catching design.
The same can be said of the interior, which features a new layout that’s a major step forward from the current model. Optional on the new Elantra are twin 10.3-inch displays that sit side-by-side, with the left screen functioning as a digital instrument cluster and the right as the main infotainment interface. While the multiple displays are the headline in this interior, there is one design element that had our editorial staff scratching its collective head during the unveiling.
Directly to the left of the gauge cluster is a panel with a circular looking object (with a horizontal line in the middle of it) that could be any number of things. At first we thought it was a really strange air vent. But we noticed the real air vent right below and debunked that theory. Ok, maybe it’s an abstract-looking speaker? Nope, not that either.
We reached out to a member of the Hyundai product planning team, and they responded with a very straight-forward answer. “It’s just a design on the glass… it doesn’t serve a function, other than aesthetic value.”
So there you have it. While it was fun to keep up with the conspiracy theories for a few hours, the real answer is much more simple. Hyundai isn’t shy when it comes to adding design elements, apparently even if they serve no real purpose in the interior. Even with such a weird little addition, the Elantra’s interior looks fantastic and should put pressure on the rest of the segment to raise the bar with tech in the future.
Gallery: 2021 Hyundai Elantra