By the end of 2022, Hyundai
expects to offer seven vehicles in a lineup it calls “everyday sports cars.” The Korean automaker is building its N brand — a subbrand that offers high-performance editions of its ordinary cars. Arguably the most important of the bunch is the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N—a track-tuned version of its affordable compact Elantra sedan. The company took the wraps off the car this Aug. 19.
We’ve seen most of the Elantra N before. Hyundai debuted the car for a global audience back in July. The August announcement covered the North American edition of the Elantra N. But the car has always been targeted at the American market, and as you might expect, the North American edition appears to get pretty much everything Hyundai has to offer.
Pricing is yet to be announced. We expect it to hover around $35,000 and to reach showrooms this winter.
Turbocharged power with a boost button
That means a 276-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine tuned to offer most of its power right from the start for quick acceleration. Should that not seem like enough (indeed, the N’s most logical rival, the Honda
Civic Type R, gets 306), you can access 10 extra horses for a 20-second boost with the tap of a steering wheel button.
Power goes through a 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic. A new N Corner Carving Differential and retuned suspension should give it livelier handling than the standard Elantra. Big 14.2-inch brake rotors and slotted dust covers should give it better braking performance, too.
Engine noise you can tune
The boost button already makes the car sound like something out of a videogame. Hyundai decided to run with that theme, designing an entire system of artificial engine noises drivers can tune. Want to add a bit of turbocharger whine? Enhance the bass of the exhaust note? It’s all accessible through the touchscreen.
Sportier look inside and out
Outside, the Elantra N gets a front fascia Hyundai says “takes inspiration from the battle-ready appearance of a driver’s race helmet.” A red lip spoiler runs low across the lower fascia. That red line continues all the way around the body, clearly setting the N apart from standard Elantras.
N-branded badges mark the steering wheel, shifter, seats, door scuff panels, and metal pedals inside. Sport seats sit 10 mm lower than those in the standard Elantra. They’re thinner, too, giving the N a tiny bit more rear-seat room than its standard cousins.
All 2022 Hyundais come with a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and three years of complimentary maintenance.
We’ll need to test the Elantra N ourselves to see how it stacks up against established performance models like the Civic Type R and VW
Jetta GLI. We look forward to bringing you driving impressions soon.
This story originally ran on KBB.com.