The Hyundai Elantra has come so far, but it still has things to prove. Once one of the cheapest cars in the compact segment, the Elantra was sold on the virtue of its long warranty. Now, it’s among the best-looking, highest-quality small cars on the market. It even took our Compact Car Best Buy Award for 2021, ending the Honda Civic’s long run as the class leader.
So what’s left for the Elantra? Speed and sex appeal.
Hyundai today teased the high-performance 2022 Elantra N, a sportier version of its small car. The Korean automaker released two photos.
New Wheels and Aerodynamic Bodywork
One shows large front wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tires that look wider than those found on the standard sedan. A red brake caliper is visible through angular wheels.
The other shows red-accented side skirts. Hyundai says they “not only help boost performance by better channeling airflow but also create the effect of a lowered chassis.” The trunk lid carries a new spoiler that “counteracts lift by preventing airflow from tumbling over the rear edge, which increases driving stability at high speeds.”
6-Speed Stick and a Budding Rivalry?
Hyundai says it will reveal mechanical details about the Elantra N soon. We expect it to be powered by the same 275-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine as the Veloster N and offer the same choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic.
That would be a bit less power than the 2021 Honda Civic Type R, its most natural competitor. But the Type R is being replaced by an all-new version for 2022. Honda will release details on that car later this year.
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