After a lengthy wait, Hyundai is finally set to unveil the new Elantra N at the New York International Auto Show on Aug. 19.
The sportiest version of Hyundai’s compact sedan was given a brief, online unveiling earlier this month. This will mark the first time the public — and media — will have the chance to see the Elantra N in the sheet metal.
While the Korean carmaker is saving some news for the NYIAS intro, it’s let slip a few new details, including the fact that buyers will have the option of choosing either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. While classic performance fans might flock to the manual gearbox, the DCT has at least one significant advantage, however.
Lots of grins
The manual’s 2.0-liter turbo drivetrain is rated at 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. The dual-clutch option briefly bumps that up to 286 hp using the “N Grin Shift” feature. That will launch it from 0-100 kmh, or 62 mph, in 5.3 seconds.
That will be right in line with the 2021 Honda Civic Type R — even though that pocket rocket makes 306 hp out of its own 2.0-liter turbo-4. (We’ll have to wait to confirm details of the next-gen Type-R set to debut in the coming months.)
Hyundai has been putting a premium on performance lately. In fact, it’s dropping all versions of the quirky Veloster model except for the N package. The carmaker is taking a two-pronged approach borrowed from higher-line European marques, with mid-range N Line models, and the sportier, more exclusive N models.
Ready for track and street
The 2022 Elantra N, Hyundai said Thursday, “synthesizes new amalgam of racetrack performance and daily practicality.” We’re not sure if that is just a flowery translation from the original Korean, but the automaker clearly wants to say is that this is an everyday driver that you can take to the track on the weekend.
Till Wartenberg, vice president of the N brand Management & Motorsport sub-brand, said it a bit better last month when he explained that, “We designed it to be a race proven sports car with dynamic driving capabilities and style that performance enthusiasts love.”
Elantra has been a mainstay for Hyundai since the nameplate was launched in Korea and several other markets in 1990. It has fared reasonably well despite the ongoing shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs — Hyundai picking up buyers from brands like Ford that have abandoned the sedan and coupe segments.
It also has helped having more variants than ever. Hyundai starting out with a base model powered by a 147 horsepower naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-4. There’s also a hybrid version of the sedan and the sportier Elantra N Line.
Glued to the pavement
Like the N Line, the N will get a five-link independent rear and the payoff was obvious immediately when TheDetroitBureau.com drove a prototype last year. Up front, it’s a McPherson strut layout. Adaptive dampers will help clamp the performance sedan to the road while also easing up on harshness during more relaxed driving. Other features will include a limited-slip differential and grippy summer tires.
The Elantra N picks up on Hyundai’s new “Parametric Dynamics” design theme. But the performance model features distinctive, bright red side sills which, the automaker claims, will “not only help boost performance by better channeling airflow, but also create the effect of a lowered chassis.”
Along with the sport-tuned suspension, we expect to see the Elantra N offer launch control and an upgraded brake system featuring 14.2-inch discs up front.