Hyundai Might Bring High-Performance Elantra to the U.S.
The brand’s next N car could hit U.S. showrooms in 2018by Ciprian Florea, on
Word that Hyundai will offer a high-performance version of the i30 hatchback got us pretty excited, but there is some bad news involved: it won’t be sold in the U.S. At least not at first. However, U.S. enthusiasts may have access to Hyundai’s N division by means of a different product. According to a recent report, the Korean brand is planning to debut its high-performance division in North America using the Elantra.
Essentially a sedan version of the i30, the Elantra would probably share the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that Hyundai is currently prepping for the performance hatchback. The engine will be offered in two flavors, with the less powerful version good for around 260 horsepower, but the Elantra N — given this will be its name — will most likely get the 300+ horsepower variant.
There’s no timetable for the souped-up sedan, but given that the i30 N is expected to go on sale in Europe in 2017, the Elantra N won’t hit U.S. showrooms sooner than 2018. The good news is that the new-generation sedan just arrived for the 2016 model year, meaning that U.S. customers won’t have to wait for a redesign to get the N-badged model. The worst case scenario is that Hyundai will wait for the mid-cycle facelift, but this should happen later than the second half of 2018.
Why it Matters?
The fact that Hyundai wants to put its new "N" badge on other models isn’t exactly new. The Korean brand has made it clear that its N division will deliver a full range of performance cars, so it’s safe to assume that, at some point, we’ll also a get beefed-up version of the i20, i40, and Sonata. The good news here is that the next car on the list is set to cross the pond to the U.S. too, and that it will happen within a couple of years or so. This is good not only for customers, but for Hyundai too. Brand-new to this performance game, the Korean brand needs to act fast in order to catch up with the big boys of the industry. Of course, rushing out models is never a good idea, much more so when their chassis and drivetrain require more attention. But, Hyundai does need a solid lineup of performance cars by the end of the decade, and the i30 and Elantra will definitely make up for an excellent start.
Read our full review on the 2017 Hyundai Elantra here.
Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai I30 N here.
Source: Road & Track