After too many teasers and tidbits of information to count, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N finally made its official debut today in a “digital world premiere”.
If you recall the presentation of the Kona N variant this past spring, you know that the N signifies a true performance variant produced by Hyundai’s division dedicated to… performance. This is in contrast with the carmaker’s N-Line trims, which involve largely esthetic upgrades designed to make for a more-aggressive appearance.
“Hyundai Motor’s high-performance N brand constantly aims to provide customers with a range of exciting choices for increased driving pleasure. Elantra N is the purest expression of our mission to date.”
- Till Wartenberg, Hyundai Vice President and Head of N Brand Management & Motorsport sub-division
The Elantra N is decidedly about more than just appearances. The variant gets the same 2.0L turbo engine making 276 hp and 289 lb-ft as the Kona N, wedded to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. 0-100 km/h acceleration is given at 5.3 seconds, and top speed is set at 250 km/h.
That transmission harbours three special modes, NPS (N Power Shift), NGS (N Grin Shift) and NTS (N Track Senses Shift). The first activates automatically when you apply 90 percent of possible gas input to avoid loss of torque when shifting; the second kicks in an extra 10 hp for a period of 20 seconds at the push of a button on the steering wheel; and the third is designed for on-track use.
You also get a standard launch control function for crazy fast starts and a standard limited-slip differential. And for the first time in a Hyundai there’s a rally-inspired integrated drive shaft that’s more lightweight and better harnesses lateral forces working on the car. The 19-inch wheels get large 360-mm brake discs and high-resistance pads.
There are aggressive visual elements a-plenty to ensure no one you come across thinks you’re driving a plain old Elantra. So there’s a side skirt, contrasting black wing-type spoiler and diffuser (which obviously serve a performance purpose as well), plus a unique front grille and fascia with an N-exclusive red strip running along the bottom of the front bumper. In back you find an inverted triangle type N-only reflector and dual exhaust tips, and the same red strip running along the bottom.
Elements specific to the N variant of the Elantra include N-branded steering wheel, shifter, seats, door scuff panels and metal pedals, plus more. The N seat has reinforced bolsters for lateral support of both the upper and lower body during sharp cornering, In addition, an optional N bucket seat with N emblem lighting has a position that is lower by 10 mm compared to the standard seat. The N light bucket seat reduces the seat back thickness by 50 mm compared to the base model, for the benefit of those sitting behind.
The menus on the infotainment screen are also unique to the N model. In front the driver, the data screen provides certain information such as the motor oil and engine coolant temperature, as well as the torque and pressure operating with the turbocharger. If you’re on the track, you can time your laps.
Note that today’s presentation was for the European Elantra N, and that we can expect details for the model destined for North America when the car makes its big in-person debut at the New York auto show in late August.