Hyundai is expanding its N performance sub-brand with a breathing version of its new Elantra compact car. The 2021 Elantra N is powered by a 286-hp version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the spunky Veloster N hatchback. Buyers can choose from either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. We’ve grown quite fond of the Veloster N during its stay with us for a 40,000-mile long-term test, and the 2021 Elantra’s upscale vibe should add another layer of desirability. When the Elantra N hits the market—which we expect to happen in late 2021 or early 2022—it will challenge the Subaru WRX, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, and the upcoming Toyota GR Corolla.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Hyundai’s new sport compact sedan will inherit the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the Veloster N hatchback. That engine makes a stout 275-hp in the Veloster N, but thanks to an overboost feature the company calls N Grin Shift, the Elantra N boasts a 286-hp rating. That gives the Elantra N a big power advantage over the Jetta GLI. An eight-speed automatic is available but we’re happy to report a six-speed manual is standard. During our brief test drive of a prototype, we noted aggressive throttle response, crisp handling, and a sonorous exhaust note, all of which bodes well for the production model.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
It being a new model, the EPA hasn’t released fuel economy estimates for the Elantra N. The Veloster N is rated at 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, so we expect similar results for the Elantra. When we get a chance to test the new performance sedan, we’ll put it through our 200-mile highway fuel economy route and update this story with results. For more information about Elantra N’s fuel economy.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The regular Elantra’s dramatically restyled cabin has a decidedly cockpit-like look and feels which translates perfectly to the racier Elantra N. The sportier-looking ambiance is enhanced by sports seats with aggressive bolsters, metal-accented pedals, and a smattering of N badges. Rear seat passenger space will be more generous here than in the Veloster N and we expect the trunk will offer more space for cargo. When we have the chance to evaluate the Elantra N, we’ll update this section with more details.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Elantra’s all-digital dashboard carries over to the N model, with a large 10.3-inch digital gauge display sharing real estate with a 10.3-inch infotainment display that’s angled slightly toward the driver.