Even though we aren’t fortunate enough to drive Hyundai’s N line models, they still excite us. Partly because their standard derivatives do make their way to our shores and it only makes sense for us to rekindle the possibilities of having the Hyundai N cars in India. The latest N offering, the Elantra N has made the wait even harder! It is a perfect fusion of the rather hoot Veloster N and the restyled Elantra. The Elantra N looks particularly smashing in Hyundai’s trademark ‘Performance Blue’ shade.
The facelifted Elantra has upped the suaveness of the sedan and the N variant has sprinkled some sportiness into the mix. The heavily sculpted front fascia screams for attention.
The visual drama doesn’t fade away as you move to the other exterior bits of the performance sedan. There are countless elements to make it different from the standard variant of the car, including bright red side sill extensions and a small rear wing. A pronounced diffuser houses larger exhaust pipes, and there’s a variable exhaust system, which we fully expect to snap, crackle and pop just like the Veloster N.
The major highlight here has to be the powertrain equipped under the hood. It is the familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder found in other performance models from the brand. This unit puts down 276 horsepower on the ground and 391 Nm of peak torque output. Despite being targeted at enthusiasts, it misses out on a manual gearbox.
The only gearbox offered is 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. The Elantra N has some tricks up its sleeves. Take the N Grin Shift for instance, which increases the power output to 286hp momentarily. A limited-slip differential manages power at the front axle, and 245/35-series Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires offer plenty of grip at all four corners.
To make sure that all the power is put down on the road in the desired manner, it uses an integrated drive axle 14.1-inch front rotors with upgraded brake pads and improved cooling ducts. Upgraded bushings and isolators are found in the suspension, along with additional chassis bracing and stiff rear bars for added rigidity. It also gets N Sound Equalizer which, according to the automaker, “is a virtual engine sound that not only provides driving sounds that represent Hyundai Motorsports, such as TCR race car sounds, but also has an equalizer function that allows the driver to adjust details for each range (whine, throat, bass), with consideration for personal preference.” Hyundai says “this allows the driver to hear a more realistic and dynamic engine sound while driving,” but fake noise is still fake noise.
Interior features include a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and some N-specific performance pages. The Elantra N should have plenty of driver-assistance techs, too. It also gets 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.