(Please note: Part 1 can be read here)

Over the past several years, SUVs have benefited from staggering popularity. They’ve been a boon to the automotive industry, but detrimental to sedan sales. Ford and General Motors made headlines for deciding to kill off or substantially reduce their traditional four-door lineups. Other manufacturers, such as Hyundai, decided to stick it out in the sedan segment. The opportunities they have in that less populated space are also their obligations.

Hyundai has the freedom to create versions of its cars it’s never offered before, but it also needs to make those so that those models appeal to as many different types of buyers as possible. That explains why Hyundai introduced its first-ever Elantra Hybrid for the 2021 model year. To attract customers who prioritize high performance over hypermiling, Hyundai went to the opposite end of the spectrum and assembled the ultimate version of its compact sedan: the 2022 Elantra N.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N

I’ve had the good fortune of being invited to several automotive press events over the past eight years. Most of them were new vehicle launches that gave me and my colleagues hours of seat time in models that weren’t on the market yet and one-on-one access to the designers and engineers involved in their production. I was not on Hyundai’s list to attend the formal introduction of the high-performance Kona N and Elantra N models, but I didn’t need to be. Hyundai was so excited to have the automotive media experience the newest additions to its N sub-brand that it invited two waves of writers and content creators to the Atlanta Motorsports Park to drive them both on the two-mile track, an impromptu autocross course, and the serpentine nearby roads. In the first installment of my two-part coverage of the event, I explained how Hyundai transformed the compact Kona into a raucous, mischievous beast. In this piece, I’ll detail the steps Hyundai took to create the most potent and focused Elantra ever.


This isn’t the first time that Hyundai has pushed the Elantra to greater heights of performance. Its Elantra N TCR race car won 1st place in its class in the 2021 24 Hours of Nürburgring. This year, Hyundai and Bryan Herta Autosport are running Elantra N TCRs in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. Aside from its front axle and chassis, the Elantra N Line, the entry-level sporty Elantra, has completely different hardware and tuning than the base model. The engineers behind the all-out N variant went even further with their upgrades, all the way down to the core structure.


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