Hyundai has added a fifth N performance model to its global product line-up in the shape of the new Elantra N.
Joining the i20 N, the updated i30 N, Veloster N and the Kona N, the unveiling of the first ever hot Elantra, which confusingly carries the i30 Sedan moniker in certain markets, comes on the back of the reveal of the step-down N Line model last year with the newcomer also debuting a number of first time features not offered any model till now.
Aesthetically, the Elantra N sports the aggressive N exterior comprising model bespoke front and rear bumpers, wider door sills with red accents, a black N grille with a red lip splitter, gloss black mirror caps, black detailing on the flanks of the front bumper and dual exhaust outlets.
Mounted on an N model first 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot 4S tyres, the Elantra N also receives a gloss black rear wing and further red detailing on the faux rear diffuser.
The mentioned changes don’t stop on the outside though and apart from sporting stiffer anti-roll bars, electronically adjustable suspension and sharper steering, the Elantra N debuts Hyundai’s new integrated drive axle system derived from the brand’s World Rally Championship (WRC) exploits.
Essentially an integration of the driveshaft, wheel hub and wheel bearing, the layout, according to Hyundai, reduces weight by 1.7 kg and results in a “lighter and stronger car” with an additional benefit being the ability to better withstand high lateral g-force levels.
Equipped with a sound synthesising variable exhaust system known as N Sound Equaliser also developed by its motorsport department that runs the TCR touring car programme, the Elantra N receives upgraded N branded 360 mm brake calipers at the front with better cooling thanks to wider ducts, and an electronic limited slip differential.
Inside, Hyundai has revised the infotainment system and instrument cluster to include specific graphics and readouts such as boost pressure, oil and coolant levels as well as a lap timer and optional N bucket sport front seats with a reduced, by 50 mm, rear back and illuminated N logos on the headrest.
Underneath the bonnet, the Elantra N is motivated by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as the i30 N and Kona N that punches out 206kW/392Nm. Paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox with a six-speed manual being offered as well, the Elantra N will get from 0-100 km/h in a claimed 5.3 seconds and top out at 250 km/h.
As with its mentioned siblings, opting for the dual-clutch ‘box sees the inclusion of not only launch control but also three modes; N Grin Shift, N Power Shift and N Track Sense with the former doubling up as an overboost function that unlocks an additional seven kilowatts for 20 seconds.
Going on sale towards the end of this year, the Elantra N, like the regular model, has not been earmarked for South Africa as it will most likely clash with the Kona N local buyers will be privy to from early next year.