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Hyundai Accent SR | new car sales price

2013 Hyundai Accent SR.

Hyundai has heated up the popular Accent hatchback range with the arrival of the sporty Australian-developed SR variant.

Replacing the Accent Elite hatch, the SR -- which debuted at the 2012 Australian International Motor Show -- is powered by  Hyundai's higher-output 1.6-litre D-CVVT GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) Gamma petrol engine, shared with the new Elite sedan and the Veloster and delivering 103kW at 6300rpm and 167Nm at 4850rpm

The engine is mated to a six-speed manual as standard for $18,990 or the optional six-speed automatic with sequential manual mode transmission for an extra $2000. Claimed fuel consumption is 6.1-litres/100km for the manual and 6.6L for the auto.

The sports-focused suspension has been developed locally to suit Australian requirements, with the unique tune achieved in computer simulations, road driving and high-speed evalution at the Marulan race circuit near Sydney.

After assessing 20 front and 17 rear damper builds, the rear ones were changed from twin-tube to high-performance monotube Mando units, spring rates were changed and the front stabiliser bar was trimmed from 23mm to 21mm.

"These hardware changes deliver sharper turn-in, quicker response and enhanced body control, all while retaining – in fact, actually improving on – Accent's supple ride," Hyundai product planning manager and lead development driver, Andrew Tuitahi said in a statement. "The Accent SR features a higher output engine and a new suspension set-up which as a pleasant by-product also make it great fun to drive at a keen price."

The SR also picks up an array of sporty features, including a rear spoiler, 16-inch machined-face alloy wheels, SR badging and projector-beam headlights with LED positioning lamps, automatic dusk-sensing operation and headlight escort function.

It gets a five-star ANCAP rating, with safety kit including six airbags, stability management and control systems, traction control and anti-skid brakes with brake force distribution to counter uneven loading.

Hyundai Accent range:

Accent Active 4DR $16,990 (man)
Accent Active 5DR $16,990 (man)
Accent Active 4DR $18,990 (auto)
Accent Active 5DR $18,990 (auto)
Accent Elite 4DR $20,990 (auto)
Accent SR 5DR $18,990 (man)
Accent SR 5DR $20,990 (auto)

This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott