It's been a long time coming, but the alpha of the Elantra line is finally here. The 2022 Elantra N builds on the sport-themed lines and punchy power of the Elantra N Line, delivering more performance across the board thanks to a bevy of upgrades under the bonnet and under the skin. And of course Hyundai offers it in a glossy exterior coat of Performance Blue.
As expected, the big news here is what's under the bonnet. To no real surprise, the Elantra N gains the familiar turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder found in other performance models from the brand. In the Elantra N it's good for 276 bhp (206 kilowatts) sent to the wheels via an available six-speed manual transmission. It's also offered with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, but it's a wet box that executes crisp shifts and sends the Elantra N to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. A trick e-LSD helps the front wheels handle that power while minimising understeer.
Gallery: 2022 Hyundai Elantra N
Power isn't the only ace up the Elantra N's sleeve. For added cornering and acceleration, the Elantra N uses an integrated drive axle not unlike what you find in WRC cars. Hyundai says this arrangement is better at withstanding lateral loads while also shaving a bit of weight from the front. 14.1-inch front rotors with upgraded brake pads and improved cooling ducts help reel in the speed. Upgraded bushings and isolators are found in the suspension, along with additional chassis bracing and stiff rear bars for added rigidity. And Hyundai doesn't skimp on the tyres, with 245/35ZR 19 Michelin Pilot 4S rubber at all four corners.
That's the crux of the performance upgrades, but Hyundai does build in some neat features for enthusiasts. A feature called N Grin Shift (NGS) temporarily bumps the boost pressure for the engine, giving an extra 10 bhp for short sprints. Engineers also pump various artificial engine sounds through the car should driver and passenger be interested in such things, but remember all those Nurburgring spy videos of Elantra N prototypes popping and snapping like mad? That's the Variable Exhaust Valve System and it's decidedly not artificial. If you want to drive an angry Elantra, just activate the system and enjoy.
Inside, the Elantra N gains a lap timer for the infotainment system and other critical monitors for things like engine oil and coolant temperature. Naturally you get upgraded seats with extra bolster support and plenty of N branding to remind you that you're not in a run-of-the-mill Elantra. The exterior is arguably the least dynamic portion of the N upgrade, gaining a front fascia with a chin spoiler, a prominent rear wing, and a rear fascia with a diffuser.
The Elantra N is here, but Hyundai isn't ready just yet to talk price or availability. Expect it to appear first in South Korea, with sales coming to other markets presumably by the end of 2021.