Welcome to the Hyundai N Division’s latest...well, we don’t want to preemptively say ‘masterpiece,’ but this indeed looks very much like one.
So, the Elantra N. Angry-looking thing, isn’t it? The carmaker says “over 40 N elements” have been applied to your regular Elantra to create this much wilder iteration, and the official press release persists in providing an acronym for each of those 40 elements. Foremost among which is NGS, or N Grin Shift.
You might be familiar with it by now: This mode drives up boost pressure to temporarily push the 2.0-liter turbopetrol engine’s peak output up to 286hp, thus taking the Elantra N from a standstill to 100kph in 5.3sec, all the way to a 250kph top speed. With N Grin Shift deactivated, the flat power engine—which features enhancements like a larger turbine wheel and a wider turbine passage—delivers 276hp and 392Nm via an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. Sorry, no manual.
You’ll want more performance upgrades to go with your N car, of course. An integrated drive axle derived from World Rally Championship tech trims down some weight and helps the car withstand lateral g-forces. Tweaks like a reshaped powertrain mount, four-point strut rings, and rear stiff bars beef up overall body rigidity for improved handling, while an e-LSD manages torque distribution between inner and outer wheels during cornering to fend off understeer. Much attention has also been given to cooling the brakes to ensure they deliver consistent braking force throughout the course of a flying lap. The 360mm discs hide behind 19-inch wheels wearing 245-width Michelin PS4S tires.
In case you need more sensory cues to tell you you’re in a go-faster Elantra, Hyundai has also included an N Sound Equalizer to pipe in “dynamic driving sound in harmony with the famous N exhaust sound through interior speakers.” There are preset modes you can choose from, or you can adjust whine, throat, and bass to come up with your own special mix, because we’re in the era of “you do you,” right?
But if you’d rather let the Elantra N do its own Elantra N thing, another of those N acronyms here is something called UBS or ‘upshift bang sound,’ which churns out the pop-crack-bang race-car sounds by controlling fuel flow and having the variable exhaust valve system wide open.
Also race-car-inspired is the styling. Hyundai’s been doing it for a while now, but it’s still amazing how it has managed to make an unimposing color like baby blue synonymous with performance. As with all other N models, the N-exclusive aero elements, badging, and red accents here do help out in that regard. More such elements are found inside, and if the regular perches don’t make the cut for you, there’s an optional N bucket seat that, uh, sits 10mm lower.
An N graphic interface brings to the fore important info such as oil and coolant temp, torque and turbo pressure, and a lap timer, and a real-time circuit location tracker for when you’re trying to beat your personal-best time during a track day. There’s also a Hyundai N app, initially offered in South Korea, that allows you to review your stats on a smartphone or a table, and compare your lap times with those of other N owners who are also subscribed.
“Hyundai Motor’s high-performance N brand constantly aims to provide customers with a range of exciting choices for increased driving pleasure,” said Till Wartenberg, Hyundai’s vice president and head of N brand management and motorsport sub-dvision. “Elantra N is the purest expression of our mission to date.”
Hmm...the i30N still represents ‘peak N car’ for us, but let’s see...
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