U-Drag Race: The Subaru WRX AWD Gets Spanked By A FWD Hyundai Elantra N! - story fullscreen Fullscreen

U-Drag Race: The Subaru WRX AWD Gets Spanked By A FWD Hyundai Elantra N!

The Hyundai Elantra N shattered the Subaru WRX’s ego both the times they raced each other

The folks at ‘Edmunds’ are back with another U-Drag race. The first two that they arranged were pretty exciting, and we don’t expect this one to be any less. The contenders here are sports cars from the budget segment – the Subaru WRX and the Hyundai Elantra N. Which car are you placing your bets on?

How Does A U-Drag Race Work?

U-Drag Race: The Subaru WRX AWD Gets Spanked By A FWD Hyundai Elantra N!
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Let’s brief you on how the U-Drag format works, in case you missed the previous races between the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and the Chevy C8 Corvette, and the other between a Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. A U-Drag race essentially combines multiple aspects into a single race. You get to see how a car does on a standing drag race, a roll race, how well it brakes, and how well it holds up while taking a U-Turn at relatively high speeds.

What Do We Have Here?

U-Drag Race: The Subaru WRX AWD Gets Spanked By A FWD Hyundai Elantra N!
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The 2022 Subaru WRX features a 2.4-liter, turbocharged flat-four engine that dishes out 271 horses and 258 pound-feet of torque.

It is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and an all-wheel-drive system. The car tips the scales at 3,400 pounds. The price of the WRX as tested here is $36,995.

U-Drag Race: The Subaru WRX AWD Gets Spanked By A FWD Hyundai Elantra N!
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The 2022 Hyundai Elantra N comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four engine under the hood. It churns out 276 horses and 289 pound-feet of torque.

Power is routed to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox that also comes with rev-matching. Since it doesn’t feature an all-wheel-drive system like the WRX, it is noticeably lighter. It weighs 3,196 pounds, which makes it a little over 200 pounds lighter than its rival. The price as tested is $33,345, thus also making it cheaper than the WRX.

How Did They Fare?

U-Drag Race: The Subaru WRX AWD Gets Spanked By A FWD Hyundai Elantra N!
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The Elantra N comes with a launch control and features rev-matching, but the WRX has neither. What it does have, is an all-wheel-drive system, and that came into play in the first race. Off the line, the WRX stuttered, jittered, and looked like it would break down, but it got a way better launch than the Hyundai. It was quicker to the quarter-mile and quicker off the U-turn, but this is where it lost the plot. The Elantra has some extra horses and is 200 pounds lighter, and that came into play to ensure it scored a win over its rival. It wasn’t a big win, but still pretty clear and convincing.

U-Drag Race: The Subaru WRX AWD Gets Spanked By A FWD Hyundai Elantra N!
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For the second race, the cars switched lanes and the drivers swapped the cars. This time, Kurt Niebuhr, the gentleman driving the Elantra N, decided not to use the launch control. Surprisingly, it worked as the Elantra N had a much better start off the line and that set the pace for the entire race. There was not a single moment here where the Subaru looked even remotely threatening. The Hyundai won the standing drag race, coming out of the turn, and the roll race as well.

U-Drag Race: The Subaru WRX AWD Gets Spanked By A FWD Hyundai Elantra N!
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The Subaru WRX’s best run was in the first race, taking 38 seconds to finish the round, whereas the Hyundai Elantra N did its best in the second run, where it took 37.6 seconds to complete the U-Drag race.

Conclusion

U-Drag Race: The Subaru WRX AWD Gets Spanked By A FWD Hyundai Elantra N!
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That’s the beauty of this format. The Subaru won the first quarter-mile standing race, but all its flaws surfaced post that. It lost boost coming out of the turn and felt sloppy and vague, as noted by Reese Counts at the end of the video. The Elantra, on the other hand, had better power delivery, and better clutch and transmission. The drivers even went on to note that the steering is better than the BMW M4! That’s a pretty big statement and it was this format that gives you an idea of all of this. I’m personally digging this format and can’t wait to see more cars face each other. What do you have to say about this race and U-drag races in general? Watch the video and share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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