First Look – 2022 Hyundai Elantra N

Ken Zino of Auto on Hyundai 2022 Elantra N

Looks to be a good sports sedan. Simple ordering: 2- or 3-pedal, which one of the five colors?

Hyundai today unveiled an all-new 2022 Elantra N for the North American market in a virtual debut. With the introduction of Elantra N, Hyundai says it continues N brand line of “Everyday Sports Cars.” Elantra N is a high-performance variant of the new Elantra. It adds – at least virtually – dynamic driving capabilities and insistent design elements to the standard front-wheel drive model. Hyundai says there are more than 40 specialized N elements applied to the Elantra N to enhance driving performance. The N has two meanings – Namyang, where Hyundai develops vehicles and Nürburgring, where it runs cars. However, Hyundai doesn’t publish lap times? Pricing not until year-end.

Elantra N is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engine with a 52-mm turbine wheel and a 12.5-mm turbine passage – with an area increased by 2.5 mm. These enhancements, along with the optimization of the shape and material of the cylinder block, improve both performance and durability it’s claimed. As a result, the so-called flat-power technology makes maximum output from 5,500 rpm for quick acceleration.

The flat-four is available with an N eight-speed wet, dual-clutch transmission (N DCT), delivering maximum output of 276 horsepower from 5,500-6,000 rpm and torque of 289 lb.-ft. from 2,100 to 4,700 rpm. With – marketing babble alert> N Grin Shift (NGS), the boost pressure temporarily increases, briefly increasing output to 286 horsepower. The Elantra N is also available with a standard, close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox – an increasing rarity in the US. (Hyundai estimates 30% MT, 70% DCT) Some of the buyers or cross-shoppers are surprising. Obviously, Honda Civic Type R, though it’s more expensive; VW GTI; Subaru WRX – albeit its awd; and surprisingly rwd Camaro and Mustang buyers. Demographics skew toward young male, new to Hyundai and higher income.

ELANTRA N’s handling performance comes with – marketing babble alerts> N Corner Carving Differential (e-LSD), Variable Exhaust Valve System and Launch Control, all of which are high-performance standard items. For DCT models, N Grin Shift (NGS), N Power Shift (NPS) and N Track Sense Shift (NTS) are standard features that maximize driving engagement.

Elantra N claims “robust braking performance. The 14.2-inch brake rotors are equipped with high-friction pads to ensure best-in-class braking performance. Furthermore, an additional cooling aperture in the half-cut brake dust covers, combined with braking air guides, provide improved cooling efficiency. Consistent braking force can be maintained even in harsh driving conditions. The Elantra N for the U.S. market retains a mechanical-type parking brake.”

For the first time ever in a Hyundai, Elantra N applies an integrated drive axle (IDA), said to be inspired by technology in WRC rally cars. By integrating drive shaft, wheel hub and bearing, a weight reduction of 3.81 lbs. enables a lighter and stronger driveline. This also benefits performance during extreme lateral g-forces. No all-wheel drive at this time – weight, complexity and cost, so just FWD for the moment.

By integrating the intake duct and air cleaning element in the intake compartment, ELANTRA N’s throttle response should be helped by reduced pumping losses, while the intake system weight is reduced. “The shape of the powertrain mount has been optimized to improve integration of movement between the powertrain and the body while driving, increasing handling responsiveness,” Hyundai claimed.

Hyundai has applied, for the first time, a dual-compound insulator to the front suspension. This, together with the dual-compound trailing-arm bushing achieves optimal performance in ride and handling as well as noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), separating front/rear and left/right dynamic forces. Elantra N also applies four-point strut rings and a rear stiff bar to strengthen body rigidity. Torque-feedback rack-mounted power steering (R-MDPS) provides a consistent steering feel even when the external environment changes, such as temperature. These high-performance technologies developed through N have been applied to general mass-produced vehicles and are expected to lead to overall performance of the product lineup in the future.

Elantra N adds N Sound Equalizer (NSE a virtual engine sound that not only simulates sounds from Hyundai Motorsports, such as TCR race cars, but also has an equalizer function that allows adjustment of details for each range (whine, throat, bass) to personal preference. This allows the driver to hear a dynamic engine sound as their mood dictates. In addition, the variable exhaust valve system, which delivers the exhaust overrun ‘pop’ and ‘crackle’ elements, now uses linear control to reduce booming during idling, while maintaining the distinctive N exhaust note.

Finally, Elantra N is the first N vehicle to use 245-section width Michelin® Pilot Sport 4S tires (a good summer tire in AutoInformed’s real on pavement driving experience) on 19-inch alloy wheels for increased traction and dynamic cornering performance.

Hyundai Complimentary Maintenance is the latest addition to the Hyundai Assurance program. It claims to create a better experience for shoppers and owners of Hyundai vehicles. Hyundai Assurance is made up of Owner Assurance, now including complimentary maintenance, and Shopper Assurance, which together offer customers a variety of ways to simplify the buying process and improve the owning and service experience. Details on these promises include:

  • America’s Best Warranty: 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, 7-year anti-perforation warranty
  • Complimentary Maintenance: 3 years/36,000 miles of normal oil changes and tire rotations
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