It’s been months since we’ve heard from Hyundai Philippines about the Elantra. You might even think that the nameplate is dead in the country but a quick look at the brand’s website will show you that it’s still alive and well, albeit, in its old guise.
But globally, the Elantra is in strides to amplify its image and stance in the compact sedan segment. Populated with nameplates with deep roots and foothold, the Elantra is definitely a challenger – and the latest Elantra N is the latest bid coming from South Korea to challenge the mainstays.
Based on the seventh-generation Elantra that’s yet to arrive on our shores, the Elantra N is the meaner version. It’s not an N-Line – it’s a full-fledged N model, comparable to the Ms and the AMGs of German automakers.
As such, the Elantra N bears a sportier appeal with a plethora of upgrades on its styling. Exclusive to the model is a glossy exterior coat called Performance Blue, which has been quite popular with other Hyundai N nameplates.
Apart from the color and the body kits, the Elantra N also comes with a prominent rear wing and diffuser to aid in aerodynamics, especially on high-speed drives. Inside, the N upgrades continue with sports seats with extra bolstering, along with a bevy of N branding to remind you that you’re not inside a run-of-the-mill Korean sedan.
Beyond the styling upgrades, the Elantra N comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot engine that makes 276hp. This power plant sends the power to the wheels through either a six-speed manual (hooray!) or an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. To handle all that power, the Elantra N also comes with an e-LSD that minimizes understeer. A sprint to 97 km/h (60 mph) in the Elantra will take a scant 5.3 seconds.
The Elantra N also comes with other upgraded oily bits, particularly an integrated drive axle that’s similar to what you see in WRC cars. This helps in cornering and acceleration, as well as aid at withstanding lateral loads while also removing a bit of weight at the front. It also comes with upgrades bushings and isolators in the suspension, along with huge 14.1-inch front rotors and upgraded brake pads.
More importantly, the Elantra N comes with a feature called N Grin Shift (NGS), which can also be found in the Veloster N. It bumps the boost pressure for the engine, producing an extra 10hp for short sprints. As the icing on the cake, the Elantra N also comes with a Variable Exhaust Valve System that basically adds some pops and crackles as you go crazy around the track.
Pricing for the new Hyundai Elantra N isn’t out yet, as well as global availability. But with the mentioned upgrades, the Honda Civic Type R should watch its back as this Nurburgring-developed Korean sedan is out to steal its lunch.
With all of these said, I believe we can all agree that the Elantra N is not your typical Elantra. It makes us wish that Hyundai Philippines updates its lineup someday with the latest version of the compact sedan and maybe – just maybe – it can even bring in the N version to put smiles on the faces of Filipino car enthusiasts.