Hyundai Excel Engine

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The original Excel was the X1. It was introduced in the United States in 1985 as a replacement to the Hyundai Pony. It holds the unique distinction of being the first Hyundai ever sold in the U.S. No other Hyundai was introduced that year in North America. Fortune Magazine included the X1 Excel at number ten on its “Best Product” list in the automotive category.


The X1 Hyundai Excel engine sizes and trims available in North America started with the 1.5L engine in the base trim. The 1.5 GL, a four-door model followed. The 1.5 GLS came in four-door sedans and five-door hatchback models. The 1.5 GS was a three-door hatchback.

All 1.5 models featured the Hyundai 1.5L, four-cylinder engine that achieved just 68hp. While many might consider these vehicles underpowered, they were lightweight and produced excellent gas mileage.

The subcompact X1 was offered with a three-speed automatic transmission or manual transmissions in four-speed and five-speed versions.

Hyundai Excel Engine Sizes for the X2

The second-generation Excels were slightly larger and heavier. The body was given a cosmetic makeover as well. In terms of the power plant, no new Hyundai Excel engine sizes were introduced, but the 1.5L engine was enhanced to produce 81hp.

The same three transmissions were offered, and there was one additional option, a four-speed automatic. The growing number of Hyundai dealers in the U.S. offered four trim packages. The Base models were a three-door hatchback and a four-door sedan. The GL came in a three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, and in 1990 only, a five-door hatchback.

GLS models were offered in three-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions, while the GS was available only in a three-door hatchback model.

The Hyundai Excel opened the door, and now the Hyundai Motor Company enjoys growing market share in the United States.