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Pictures have just been released of the next Hyundai Elantra. To be honest, what you see here is actually the 2011 Hyundai Avante. This car will become either the 2011 Hyundai Elantra or 2012 Hyundai Elantra for North American consumption. 

Hyundai is, of course, one of the world’s fastest growing automakers. Just think of the company’s U.S. sales from the first quarter of 2010. Hyundai Accent sales; up. Hyundai Elantra sales; up. Hyundai Sonata sales; up. Hyundai Genesis sales; up. Hyundai Tucson sales; up. Hyundai Santa Fe sales; up. 

Compared with the first quarter of 2009, only the Hyundai Veracruz and Hyundai Azera suffered declining sales in the first three months of 2010. (The Tiburon and Entourage have been put out to pasture.) Most interestingly, sales of the 2010 Hyundai Accent have risen despite it being an aged model with a new generation on the way. Similarly, the 2010 Hyundai Elantra is, as described above, due for a replacement. (Elantra sales have been helped by the addition of the Touring bodystyle.) 

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata sent sales of the midsize Hyundai straight in to the Top 10 Best-Selling Cars In America list for March. And Hyundai has plans for an additional sedan to sit above the Genesis. The Hyundai Equus is a behemoth fit for fighting the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series. In the real world, the world we actually live in, the Equus will line up with cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-Series, and Lincoln MKS. Maybe.

In the Gallery you’ll check out after the jump, the eye isn’t drawn to Hyundai’s Sales Stats or traditionally low prices but to…. dare I say it, style. Of the six Hyundai sedans you’ll see in the Hyundai showroom of the future, only one car is at all dowdy. For certain, the five latest designs stem from a specific design ethos, one that stands up to far more exclusive vehicular familes.

Sure, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata divides opinion. But as has been pointed out on before, the Sonata is inarguably styled, more than can be said of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or a bunch of other members of the midsize sedan segment.

Meanwhile, up a couple notches on the scale sits the Hyundai Genesis. A two-time Good 12 winner on, the Genesis isn’t knock-your-socks-off delicious but it features clean and classy lines.

Further on, the flagship Hyundai Equus is very much a Genesis on steroids. I’d like to see a more modern grille, but the car does look distinctly rear-wheel drive; and very expensive, too.

Stuck in the middle is the ageing Hyundai Azera. On the road the Azera is on the classy side of bland. Competing with the ultra-blaa Toyota Avalon required little of Hyundai before the gorgeous Buick LaCrosse and strong Ford Taurus arrived. 

And now the two new cars, the smallest Hyundai sedans. Sedan shapes don’t normally work on the smallest of cars – just compare the dreadful Ford Fiesta sedan with the handsome Ford Fiesta hatchback. Opinion should be reserved until the Accent sedan is seen in the flesh, but the pictures of this, the 2011 Hyundai Verna, bode well. Slightly larger and far more dynamic is the 2011/2012 Hyundai Elantra. This car clearly uses the Sonata as inspiration yet the Avante/Elantra might actually pull the theme off with more success. Check out all the images in the slideshow below.

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