Expanding faster than the average middle-aged man’s waistline, the Hyundai N range has yet another new member. Hot on the heels of the Kona N crossover and the fabulous i20 N hot hatch, we have this - the Elantra N.
Straight away, though, it has a problem. At least for us in Europe - the latest version of the standard Elantra (known as the i30 Sedan in Australia) isn’t sold in most European markets. As far as we know, the same will apply to the go-faster N version. That’s a shame, as from the sounds of it, we’ll be missing out on something pretty fun.
Mechanically, it’s very similar to the exceptionally good i30 N. Providing propulsion is the same 2.0-litre inline-four engine, although its turbocharger now has a larger diameter turbine wheel and a bigger turbine passage. The unit is good for 276bhp, all of which is lobbed through the front wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox and an electronically-controlled locking differential.
There is a manual option, but it’s the automatic you’ll want for 0-60mph glory. On a good enough surface, it’s possible to do the deed in a mere 5.3 seconds. The top speed meanwhile is 155mph.
You can even play around with exactly how the Elantra N sounds when you’re giving it what for via the ‘N Sound Equalizer’. This system pipes in artificial noise while giving the driver control over various aspects - the ‘whine’, ‘throat’, and bass, Hyundai says. Alternatively, you can just make the Elantra sound like its TCR motorsport cousin. Hopefully, there’s also an ‘off button.
For the chassis, Hyundai has added a fair few bits you won’t find on other N cars. For instance, pinched from the company’s WRC programme is an ‘integrated drive axle’. This combines the driveshaft, hub and wheel bearing, making for a stronger part that’s 1.7kg lighter. There’s also a “dual compound insulator” in the front suspension for improved NVH.
You also get the latest version of Hyundai’s adaptive dampers, beefy brakes featuring 360mm discs at the front, and 19-inch wheels wrapped in 245mm-wide Michelin PS4 S tyres. To reflect all those chassis enhancements and the straight-line performance, Hyundai has added bespoke front and rear bumpers, a rear diffuser and a surprisingly sizeable rear wing.
Inside, the Elantra N gets a new steering wheel with the usual N mode buttons found in its stablemates, along with an ‘NGS’ (something which cringingly stands for ‘N Grin Shift’) button. Found only on DCT-equipped versions, the latter bumps the power output up by 10bhp for 20 seconds.
The Elantra N will go on sale before the end of the year, with an anticipated starting price hovering around the $35,000 mark.