• 2021 Hyundai Elantra N - Everything We Know So Far

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The rumors about a hot version of the Elantra are finally confirmed. A camouflaged Elantra with a significantly more aggressive body kit has been seen out doing tests. Similar to the European i30, the performance theme does not end with the N Line, but instead it continues with a full-blown performance version in the form of the Elantra N. Here is everything we know so far about the latest addition to Hyundai’s performance lineup.

Drivetrain & Performance

2019 Hyundai Veloster N Drivetrain
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Under the hood, things are quite familiar: the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four unit we get in the Veloster N. Only here, it makes 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet (392 Nm).

Judging by the performance figure on other Hyundai N-performance models using the same engine, we can expect a 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) time of around 5.7 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). Two transmission options will be available – a six-speed manual and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

All that performance needs to be kept in check, which is why the Elantra N features 13.6-inch (345 mm) brake rotors, as opposed to the base Elantra’s 11-inch (279 mm). The rear brake rotors are also bigger than standard, at 12.4 inches (315 mm). Front-wheel traction is aided by a limited-slip differential. The rear suspension is a multi-link setup as opposed to the standard car’s torsion beam.

Exterior

2021 Hyundai Elantra N - Everything We Know So Far Exterior Spyshots
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Even with the camouflage still on, the new Elantra N does not shy away from its performance credentials. Compared to the N-Line, the Elantra N features a lower and more pronounced front splitter. At the same time, the side vents, which are now bigger, are moved even more towards the boundaries of the car’s front fascia.

On the sides, once again, the Elantra N features more aggressive design elements than the N-Line. The lower and more pronounced side skirts continue the aggressive tone set by the front splitter. At the same time, we see a new thin-spoke 19-inch rim being introduced.

2021 Hyundai Elantra N - Everything We Know So Far Exterior Spyshots
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The most obvious difference, compared to the more restrained N-Line is the rear spoiler, unique to the top-performance version of the Elantra. Despite the camouflage, we can also see that the rear bumper is quite a bit wider, giving the rear a nice, rounded, sexy look at the rear, which is further enhanced by the new diffuser, featuring shark fins and a triangular reflector in the middle.

The chief designer promised that the car hiding under the camouflage will be the production model and that we can expect some interesting color combinations.

Interior

2021 Hyundai Elantra Interior
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The dashboard layout looks quite familiar. It does, however, feature a fully-digital instrument cluster, which you don’t get on the base model. It is highly customizable and features sportier black and red graphics. On the left side, you get an additional display, which looks like an extension of the instrument cluster. You get this on the normal Elantra as well, but instead of the drive mode selector, you now get something resembling a meter. By the looks of it, it’s probably going to be giving you real-time information on your boost pressure.

The general interior design is the same but has been given a more sporty look, thanks to light-blue and red stitching on the sport seats, as well as a few more buttons on the steering wheel. You can disengage the auto-rev-match function by a big red button on the steering wheel, positioned where you would expect Ferrari’s manettino. In addition, the two light-blue buttons on each side give you the option to promptly switch between drive modes.

Price

2021 Hyundai Elantra N - Everything We Know So Far Exterior Spyshots
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As with all upcoming models, some details are yet unknown. Considering the cost of the European equivalent i30N of £28,910, which is equivalent to around $39,000, as well as prices of some of Elantra N’s direct competitors, we can expect a starting price of around $30,000. Taking into account that typically Asian vehicles come with lots of options as standard, a fully loaded example should not go for more than $35,000. Considering that the Elantra N still offers the standard car’s generous interior space and almost the same practicality, the sporty sedan will be quite competitive.

Competition

Volkswagen Jetta GLI

2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Exterior
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The German brand recently brought back another three-letter combination from the past. The GLI is the performance version of the Jetta. Essentially, a sedan version of the Golf GTI, the GLI takes everything that makes the Golf a good all-rounder and puts it into a more elegant body style. Prices for the GLI start from $29,945. For that, you get a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet (350 Nm). Performance is respectable, boasting a 0 to 60 mph time of about 6.1 seconds. It also has a quick-shifting DSG automatic, which does not let you launch the car as aggressively as you may like, for optimal 0 to 60 times. You also get the previous generation Audi graphics in your instrument cluster.

Read our full review on the Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo

2019 Mazda 3 Sedan Exterior
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Lately, Mazda has been doing a very good job of making the transition to a more upscale brand. The Mazda 3 is the latest example. Although it does not claim to be a performance version, the 2.5 Turbo version has a pretty formidable tech under its sleek design. The 2.5-liter Skyactive G turbo-four produces 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet (434 Nm). It also comes with an all-wheel-drive. However, it lags in the transmission department. If you want the 2.5 Turbo, you’ll have to make do with a six-speed traditional automatic. Prices for the sedan version start from $30,845 and can go up to around $35,000 for a fully-loaded one.

Read our full review on the Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo

Conclusion

2021 Hyundai Elantra N - Everything We Know So Far Exterior Spyshots
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With the Elantra N, Hyundai expands its performance lineup to one of the most competitive segments out there. Moreover, it does so in one of the biggest and most important markets – the US. The new sporty sedan may be based on a normal car but make no mistake, it has all the performance credentials. At the same time, it retains almost everything that makes the normal Elantra great. You also get to choose between an engaging manual and a lightning-fast automatic, and you have a normal handbrake for some fun in the snow. The best thing is, you’ll be able to get one sometime in 2021.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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