Hyundai Elantra N Sports Sedan Makes Its Official Debut

The perfect car for those who wanted a Hyundai i30 N but require just that little bit more practicality. 

Hyundai has in recent years made itself quite a diverse little lineup of sporty offerings that cater to the proper car enthusiasts, with six full-fat N models having arrived on the scene since 2017. The latest of which being this newly unveiled Elantra N, which is also incidentally the South Korean automaker’s first sporty sedan. 

Now amidst the numerous leaks, teasers and spy shots of this sporty sedan having made its way to the internet over the last couple of months, it would probably be easy to assume that there is actually not much else that Hyundai had to reveal with the official launch of its Elantra N. Though there were actually a few cool tid-bits that were kept under wraps till its debut, such as its WRC-inspired integrated drive axle for instance. 

A really rather clever piece of rally-derived kit that integrates the drive shaft, wheel hub, and bearing into a single unit, what the integrated drive axle essentially does is it reduces the weight up front (by 1.7 kg) and improves lateral grip round the bends. And on the topic of bends, Hyundai has also fitted the Elantra N with a four-point strut ring up front and stiff bars round the rear for some added chassis rigidity so that it can tackle the turns just that little bit harder. 

To add to that too, the Elantra N also nets an N Corner Carving e-LSD and a set of electronically-adjustable suspension that feature uprated bushings and isolators. Mated to this stiffer suspension on all four corners meanwhile are a set of performance brakes with upgraded brake pads, which lie hidden behind the 19-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. 

As for what makes those wheels turn on the other hand, under the hood of this performance Elantra lies the familiar 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder that is to be found in Hyundai’s other full-fat N cars. Outputting a reasonable 276 hp and 392 Nm of torque, drive however is unfortunately only sent to the front wheels via the sole gearbox option of an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. 

Its crisp shifts does nevertheless equate to this sporty sedan being capable of rocketing to 100 km/h from a standstill in a healthy 5.3 seconds. The dual-clutch transmission also nets an N Grin Shift feature that temporarily bumps the boost pressure to give an extra 10 hp during short sprints, along with N Power Shift (NPS) and N Track Sense Shift (NTS) modes too. 

And in continuing on further with this N theme, the other notable bit of N-branded electronic trickery will be the new N Sound Equalizer on this Elantra N, which artificially synthesises sound within the cabin to make it sound like its TCR counterpart. This is perhaps redundant though, as the large twin circular tailpipes sticking out the back is already hooked up to a Variable Exhaust Valve System that already manages to create the prerequisite pops and bangs on its own. 

What is perhaps less redundant however within this sporty sedan is its updated infotainment system, which gains a lap timer and displays for things like engine oil and coolant temperature. New sports seats with reinforced bolsters too are to be found within its interior, along with a sports steering wheel and aluminium pedals. 

In terms of exterior enhancements meanwhile, the Elantra N’s massive twin tailpipes is most strikingly complemented by the prominent fixed wing that is tacked onto its rear deck. This sporty Hyundai sedan also nets an aggressive-looking front fascia with enlarged air intakes, which is topped off by the signature Performance Blue N-car colour with its little flash of red running along the bottom edge of the car. 

Hyundai has yet to officially reveal how much the Elantra N will cost, but conservative estimates put it to be around $35,000 (RM 150,000) when it begins to arrive in select markets from the tail end of this year. It still also remains to be seen if this sporty South Korean sedan will actually be officially offered in Malaysia, but it is unfortunately reasonable to think too that its chances of making land fall here is slim to none. 

PRESS RELEASE: Hyundai Motor Company’s high-performance N brand today unveiled its Elantra N (sold as Avante N in Korea) in a digital world premiere. The hot sedan completes the N brand lineup of ‘everyday sports cars.’

Elantra N is a high-performance variant of the All New Elantra, released in April 2020. It adds strong, dynamic driving capability and aggressive design elements on top of the sporty standard model.

In a video released today, Hyundai Motor’s N brand provides details of over 40 N elements applied to Elantra N through a story about a boy falling in love with cars, and visually reveals the excellence of this everyday sports car, which has been tuned precisely to enhance driving performance.

At the end of the video, N brand teases that it will participate in another endurance race with a car that combines a hydrogen fuel cell and an electric battery.

First high-performance N sedan takes driving enthusiasts from street to circuit

Elantra N is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo flat power engine with a 52-mm turbine wheel, which is 5 mm larger in diameter than before, and a 12.5-mm turbine passage with an area increased by 2.5 mm. These enhancements, along with the optimization of the shape and material of the cylinder lock, improve both the performance and durability of the engine. As a result, the flat power technology maintains the maximum output from about 5,500 rpm for brisk acceleration.

Elantra N’s flat power engine is mated with an 8-speed wet dual clutch transmission (DCT), delivering maximum output of 280 horsepower (ps) and maximum torque of 40 kgf·m. With N Grin Shift (NGS), the boost pressure increases, temporarily enhancing output up to 290 ps. As a result, Elantra N achieves a top speed of 250 km/h and runs 0-100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds.

Elantra N’s spirited performance is further supported by N Corner Carving Differential (e-LSD, electronic Limited Slip Differential), Variable Exhaust Valve System and Launch Control—all of which are specialized, high-performance features that are applied as standard. For DCT models, N Grin Shift (NGS), N Power Shift (NPS) and N Track Sense Shift (NTS) are provided as standard features to maximize driving pleasure.

To shine in the corners, Elantra N provides robust braking performance. The 360-mm brake discs are equipped with high-friction material pads to ensure best-in-class braking performance for high-performance vehicles. Furthermore, a cooling hole is applied to the dust cover along with a brake air guide structure to improve cooling efficiency and the area is also optimized to vent heat from braking friction. Attention has been paid to every detail so that consistent braking force can be maintained even in harsh driving conditions.

In Elantra N, there are features implemented for the first time in an N model that also stand out.

For the first time ever in a Hyundai, Elantra N applies an integrated drive axle (IDA), inspired by technology used in WRC rally cars. By integrating drive shaft, wheel hub and bearing, weight reduction of 1.7 kg enables a ‘lighter and stronger’ car. This is also beneficial in terms of withstanding extreme lateral g-force.

By integrating the intake duct and air cleaner in the intake compartment, Elantra N’s engine response is sharpened while the intake system’s weight is reduced, and suction pressure reduced by about 10 percent or more. The shape of the powertrain mount is optimized to improve integration of movement between the powertrain and the body while driving and increase handling responsiveness.

In addition, Hyundai Motor applied for the first time a dual compound insulator to the front suspension. This, together with the dual compound trailing arm bush achieves optimal performance in ride and handling as well as noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) by separating front/rear and left/right characteristics.

Elantra N applies four-point strut rings and rear stiff bars to strengthen body rigidity. Torque feedback R-MDPS is applied to provide a consistent steering feel even when the external environment changes, such as temperature.

These high-performance technologies developed through N have been applied to general mass-produced vehicles and are expected to lead to improvement in the overall performance of the product lineup in the future.

Elantra N adds a special feature for driving pleasure. 

N Sound Equalizer (NSE) is a virtual engine sound that not only provides driving sounds that represent Hyundai Motorsports, such as TCR race car sounds, but also has an equalizer function that allows the driver to adjust details for each range (whine, throat, bass), with consideration for personal preference. This allows the driver to hear a more realistic and dynamic engine sound while driving.

In addition, the variable exhaust valve system, which delivers N’s distinctive ‘popcorn’ and ‘bang’ sounds, now uses a linear control method to reduce the booming sound during idling while maintaining the distinctive N exhaust note for the driver’s enjoyment.

Lastly, Elantra N is the first N vehicle to use 245-size Michelin PS4S tires on 19-inch wheels in support of dynamic driving performance.

High-performance N-only infotainment system provides new circuit driving experience

Elantra N’s advanced infotainment system is equipped with a graphic interface dedicated to N, so driving enthusiasts can intuitively enjoy the car’s dynamic performance.

Information needed for high-performance circuit driving, such as oil and coolant temperatures, torque and turbo pressure, which are difficult to check in most cars, is displayed in numbers on the cluster so that the driver can feel more engaged with Elantra N’s performance.

In addition, the lap timer, a high-performance dedicated infotainment function, measures the time it takes to drive a lap on the racetrack and the ‘N Track Map’ records the driver’s location and movement on the circuit in real time. This allows the driver to record their performance without the need for additional specialized equipment and helps them analyze and improve on their performance.

In Korea, Hyundai Motor also is releasing the ‘Hyundai N’ app for high-performance N customers. The app allows users who join the Bluelink (connected car service) to conveniently browse the high-performance infotainment functions of the Elantra N on personal smartphones and tablets. By providing analysis functions based on G-Force, RPM, torque output and lap time, it helps drivers to improve their driving skills in an easy, fun way.

Hyundai Motor plans to expand the function of the Hyundai N app so that it can be used not only by customers who purchase Elantra N with Bluelink, but also by customers who have an existing N vehicle.

In addition, it is expected that more customers with high-performance N models will be able to enjoy racetrack driving as if it were a game by applying a ranking system for each circuit in Korea that allows comparison of an N customer’s records with those of others.

Strong, dynamic driving sensibility harmonizes with sporty character

Building on the already sporty styling of the All New Elantra, Elantra N adds many performance-enhancing parts that further maximize its dynamic driving capability and aggressive appearance.

Elantra N’s front fascia takes inspiration from the battle-ready appearance of a driver’s race helmet, and the lip spoiler that runs low across the lower part of the bumper conveys a low-slung stance with performance intent.

The N-exclusive red strip at the bottom of the front bumper continues along Elantra N’s side skirts, giving the hot sedan a racetrack-ready look.

The prominent, N-only wing-type spoiler, along with rear diffuser, help control airflow to support optimal aerodynamic performance, further highlighting Elantra N’s high-performance capability and adding to its aggressive styling.

In addition, an inverted triangle type N-only reflector and dual single muffler tip, reminiscent of a Formula One car, neatly finish Elantra N’s high-performance image.

The N-specific interior neatly conveys the N family look with the application of N-branded elements, including the steering wheel, shifter, seats, door scuff panels and metal pedals, etc.

On the steering wheel with paddle shifters, the NGS button (DCT only) that raises horsepower by 10 ps for up to 20 seconds and two N buttons that set the desired drive mode are arranged to suit the driver’s preference. Driving modes can be customized and matched to each button in various combinations to maximize Elantra N’s fun driving spirit.

The N seat has reinforced bolsters, so that even if strong lateral acceleration occurs during sharp cornering, it firmly supports the upper and lower body to maintain a stable driving posture at all times. In addition, an optional N bucket seat with N emblem lighting has a position that is lower by 10 mm compared to the basic specification, designed for customers who pursue high-performance drivability.

The N light bucket seat reduces the seat back thickness by 50 mm compared to the base model, further highlighting best-in-class rear seat roominess and practicality.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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