Hyundai has marked the eighth anniversary of its high-performance N brand with the global release of the updated Elantra N. Initially launched in 2021, the model gained rapid popularity in North America. The new Elantra N recently debuted at Auto Shanghai 2023 and is part of Hyundai’s brand expansion strategy into China. It now sits alongside Elantra N TCR, which has a record of multiple wins in local TCR series competitions.
The refreshed Elantra N introduces a range of technological improvements aimed at boosting its performance, safety, and comfort. Notably, the enhancements are derived from the brand’s motorsport experience, particularly from the Elantra N TCR model, which dominated the TCR class at the Nürburgring 24-hour endurance races for two consecutive years (2021-22). The vehicle will deliver on Hyundai N’s three development pillars: Corner Rascal, Racetrack Capability, and Everyday Sportscar.
Under the hood, the Elantra N‘s 2.0T GDi engine produces 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, unchanged from the 2023 model year car. Though engine specs have not changed, new upgraded software enables optimal use of high-octane gasoline to enhance performance. The potent mill can be coupled with either a 6-speed manual transmission (MT) or an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).
On the mechanical side, according to Hyundai, the Elantra N showcases significant upgrades in its ride and handling. This includes a reinforced engine mount membrane for reduced after shake, G-bushing reinforcement for improved yaw response and steering precision, and a rear suspension that features a urethane insulators for improved damping. In addition, the Electronic Controlled Suspension (ECS) hardware has been refined, accompanied by software optimization.
The cooling and aerodynamic aspects of the car have not been overlooked. The new model has a duct-style air guard that guides airflow to the radiator surface for maximized cooling, while a wing-type spoiler enhances aerodynamics and cornering agility. Front and rear tire pressures have been adjusted to compensate for front axle load while maintaining a balanced ride.
Safety improvements include a new front bumper air guide to enhance brake cooling, updated Electronic Stability Control (ESC) software, and a thermal protector on the front brake hose to increase endurance. Interior features include an N-specific steering wheel, shift knob, instrument cluster, infotainment systems, and N light sport bucket seats with an illuminated logo.
Exterior design elements, too, have been refined based on feedback from fans of the N brand. The front facade features a lower stance, like the one found on the revised 2024 Elantra, and enlarged black trim, while N-specific red strips and a black anodized emblem accentuate the car’s high-performance image.
The new Elantra N’s launch is good news for sport compact car enthusiasts. As the future calls for more electrification and the inevitable end of the manual transmission, among other aspects, Hyundai’s impressive offering will keep purists satisfied for a few more years.