If we had to pick a favorite front-wheel-drive Hyundai model, chances are good the nod would go to the new Elantra GT, Hyundai’s answer to the Mazda3 and VW Golf. It’s got plenty of room inside, handles impressively well for a non-hot hatch and gives buyers a surprising amount of luxury at a bargain basement price. While the 148 horsepower cranked out by the GT’s 1.8-liter four is enough for commuting duties, it really isn’t enough to provide solid entertainment value.
Enter Bisimoto Engineering, a California tuner that will soon be answering the question, “exactly how much horsepower CAN you get from Hyundai’s 1.8-liter Nu four cylinder?” For SEMA 2012, Bisimoto is building an Elantra GT that promises to deliver 600+ horsepower, which works out to be a truly impressive 333 horsepower per liter.
As for the “how” part, Bisimoto will use forged pistons and connecting rods to ensure structural integrity before adding a Turbonetics turbcharger, water-methanol injection and high-pressure fuel injectors. We suspect there’s a high pressure fuel pump delivering that fuel, along with Bisimoto-developed ECU programming.
There are no details on suspension or brake mods, but we suspect the car will ride on coilovers and benefit from a big brake kit, larger wheels and stickier rubber. If there’s a body kit, it’s a tasteful one, even though the paint job is a bit less than subtle.
While a 600 horsepower FWD hatchback is a bit extreme for street use, it’s good to know that tuners can extract that much horsepower from a basic 1.8-liter Hyundai mill. Making a reliable 250 horsepower, then, should be no trouble at all.