2022 Hyundai Elantra N: Your Move, Honda

hyundai-elantra-n-2022-oem-39-dynamic-exterior-white 2022 Hyundai Elantra N | Manufacturer image

Looks like: The Elantra went shopping for all the latest athletic gear, and the Veloster N may not be not long for this world

Competes with: Honda Civic Si and Type R, Volkswagen Golf GTI and R, Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Powertrains: 286-horsepower (maximum), turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine; six-speed manual or eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: TBD

The latest addition to Hyundai’s N performance lineup is the Elantra compact sedan, which — like the Veloster and Kona before it — gets the full N treatment. The 2022 Elantra N will hit the streets with a 276-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a standard six-speed manual transmission. Buyers who opt for the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic will get additional auto-only goodies, including the N Grin Shift feature that debuted on the Veloster N; it triggers 20 seconds of turbocharger overboost for an additional 10 hp.

Related: Hyundai’s Kona Gets Racier With 2022 Kona N

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The Elantra N is Hyundai’s first N performance sedan — the Elantra and Sonata were already available in milder N Line variations, but not as true N cars. They’ll face stiff competition from the few affordable performance cars left on the market, such as expected redesigns for high-performance versions of the new Honda Civic (Si and Type R) and Volkswagen Jetta (GLI).

Racy Looks

hyundai-elantra-n-2022-oem-09-angle-exterior-front-white 2022 Hyundai Elantra N | Manufacturer image

While the current-generation Elantra already had an aggressive exterior, Hyundai dialed up the N well past it. The front styling includes a signature N red accent at the base of the lip spoiler, as well as revised, black-framed air intakes for improved brake cooling.

The red line continues along the Elantra N’s side, where it’s flanked by N-exclusive 19-inch wheels wrapped in 245-millimeter-wide Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer performance tires (the widest tires yet on any N vehicle).

In back, the rear spoiler is the most obvious N-specific design feature. The rear diffuser with the obligatory red accent and triangular reflector are other indicators this isn’t a humble commuter car.

Functional N-terior

hyundai-elantra-n-2022-oem-15-cockpit-shot-dashboard-front-row-interior 2022 Hyundai Elantra N | Manufacturer image

A key difference between the Elantra N and Veloster N is that the Elantra N has room for five occupants, while the Veloster only fits four; otherwise, the interior is standard Hyundai N fare. Up front are illuminated N light sport seats that Hyundai says sit 10 millimeters lower than the Elantra’s stock front seats. Hyundai says the seatbacks are also 2 inches thinner compared to the base SE, which “highlights” the Elantra’s backseat legroom but — according to official measurements — doesn’t alter it. From Hyundai’s photos, front and rear seats all appear to have suedelike inserts.

The standard 10.25-inch touchscreen adds N-specific graphics and menus to customize driving performance and adjust the augmented engine sounds. Drivers can choose from the simulated sounds of Hyundai Motorsports vehicles or adjust things like whine, throat and bass augmentation to personal preferences. (Yes, it’s artificial engine noise.)


hyundai-elantra-n-2022-oem-35-dynamic-exterior-white 2022 Hyundai Elantra N | Manufacturer image

The turbocharged four-cylinder in the Elantra N makes 276 horsepower when paired with the standard, close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. Swap the stick for the wet eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and a little red button on the steering wheel activates N Grin Shift to increase turbo boost pressure for 20 seconds, upping horsepower temporarily to 286.

One of our complaints with N Grin Shift in the Veloster N is how the delay between usages feels lengthy — and now in the Elantra N, Hyundai shortened the cool-down period to 40 seconds versus the Veloster N’s three minutes. That’s still a while to wait for the extra fun it provides, but, as Hyundai puts it, you should be able to activate it during every lap on a racetrack.

Automatic-equipped Elantra Ns also get the N Power Shift and N Track Sense Shift features for optimal transmission performance during spirited driving. All Elantra Ns come equipped with an electronic limited-slip differential to improve handling.

Other enhancements to the Elantra N include a larger turbo passage and revised cylinder block for improved durability and performance. A Hyundai-first integrated drive axle — which combines the driveshaft, wheel hub and wheel bearing — saves weight and improves driveline strength.

Hyundai also says it’s improved the suspension’s ability to deal with noise, vibration and harshness. We’ll have to drive the Elantra N to see how it worked.

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Standard safety tech for the Elantra N includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure steering assist with lane-centering steering, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, a driver attention monitor, safe exit warning and automatic high beams.

Pricing and Release Date

As of this writing, Hyundai has yet to announce pricing or availability for the 2022 Elantra N, but we’d expect it to arrive later in 2021 with prices in the low $30,000 range.

Editor’s note: This story was updated Aug. 19, 2021, to reflect the Veloster N’s N Grin Shift cool-down period.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and in 2013 and became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera, and to turn his 2021 Hyundai Veloster N into a tribute to the great Renault mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive hatchbacks. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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