Hyundai had bigger things in mind for the debut of the 2022 Elantra N performance sedan, which was slated to take its first public bow at the New York International Auto Show. However, in the wake of that event’s cancellation, the automaker took its newest sporty offering online. Officially revealed for the US market for the first time, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N should be a perfect companion to the Veloster N hatch and Kona N crossover.
Like those vehicles, the Elantra N uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four making 276 horsepower (206 kilowatts) between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm – an “N Grin Shift” overboost function cranks power to 286 hp (213 kW) for short periods of time. In addition to that up-high power, the engine also produces 289 pound-feet (392 newton-meters) between 2,100 and 4,700 rpm. As we experienced in our brief prototype drive of the Elantra N, the engine is lively and snappy, with a small amount of turbo lag that adds to the driving fun. Expect a 0-60 time of 5.0 seconds with the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission or 5.2 with the six-speed manual.
Better Living Through Engineering
The US-market 2022 Hyundai Elantra N will also feature a number of engineering solutions to enhance its drivability and performance. A dual-compound front suspension insulator and trailing arm bushings prevent obstacles on one side of the vehicle from affecting the other side, keeping performance consistent over rough pavement. The Elantra N is also the first Hyundai vehicle to feature an integrated drive axle. This technology, derived from World Rally Championship race cars, incorporates the front driveshaft, wheel hub, and bearing to save 3.8 pounds of rotating weight and provide a stronger, more robust driveline.
The N brand’s signature sharp throttle response – as we’ve experienced in both the Kona and Veloster – will carry over to the Elantra courtesy of a revised intake tract. By integrating the air filter and intake duct into a single piece, Hyundai engineers reduced pumping losses and reduced overall weight a bit. Meanwhile, specially shaped, solid engine mounts will improve handling response by tying the powertrain and the chassis tighter together while cornering. And a rack-mounted power steering pump keeps steering inputs consistent, even as handling load increases.
When buying a performance car, it has to feel and look special, and the Elantra N obliges with liberally applied red-line accents throughout the exterior. A blackened front fascia also distances the hot sedan from its less powerful siblings, as do 19-inch wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. A trunk-mounted wing spoiler, wider underbody cover, front lip spoiler, and rear diffuser enhance aerodynamics and appearance as well. Inside, the seating position of the N-specific sport seats is 10 millimeters lower, with a thinner profile that also results in added rear-seat room.
In addition to those functional and cosmetic updates, the Elantra N features some neat technology that will add to the fun. An N Sound Equalizer provides added artificial engine noises inspired by Hyundai Motorsports TCR racing cars, and the automaker also includes some customizability that enhances three different sound profiles: whine, throat, and bass. It can also be turned off if you want to hear the engine’s natural sounds – if it’s anything like the Kona N, it’ll be pretty hilarious-sounding. Like its siblings, the Elantra N also features a trim-specific skin for the infotainment system, with added functionality and custom drive modes.
When, Where, And How Much?
Unfortunately, we still don’t know exactly when the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N arrives, nor has the automaker revealed how much it’ll cost. We predict it’ll be in dealers by October or so, with a starting price of about $33,000 with the six-speed manual transmission or $34,500 with the dual-clutch gearbox.
The Elantra N will likely be the middle child in the company’s enthusiast-oriented family, slotting between the $32,500 Veloster and the unpriced (but probably $35,000) Kona SUV. However, with three attractive, aggressive vehicles in that mid-$30,000 range, the Hyundai N lineup is cooler than ever, and we can’t wait to slip behind the wheel of the Elantra and give it a rip.