Hyundai Prepared to Juice Elantra GT Sales, Without Adding Extra Juice
Hyundai’s Elantra GT is an oft-overlooked compact hatch, muscled aside by Honda’s compact king Civic, the handling (and snob) appeal of Volkswagen’s Golf and GTI, and further threatened by the impending release of a Toyota Corolla hatch that doesn’t suck.
Still, it remains a compelling vehicle with a pleasing design and an available Sport variant. All well and good, but the shrinking compact car segment means competition grows fiercer by the year. Having just refreshed Elantra sedan for 2019, Hyundai wants more eyes on the Elantra GT. It has a plan.
Time will tell if it’s enough of one, however. As the Korean brand readies the hot-shot N version of its second-generation Veloster, the Elantra GT stands to gain an N Line sibling.
VIN decoder documents obtained by AutoGuide show an N Line Elantra GT arriving in the U.S. for the 2019 model year. It shouldn’t come as a shock that there’s no new engine listed for the Elantra GT line, just the naturally aspirated base 2.0-liter four and upgrade turbo 1.6-liter. Hyundai brass never intended the N Line to be anything other that the existing sportiest model with (potential) handling tweaks and some go-fast add-ons. Something between an appearance package and a full-on “hot” variant, but leaning strongly towards the former.
Chassis tuning is probably out of the question, upgraded wheels and rubber are not. Braking might see improvement.
In Europe, the Elantra GT goes by the name i30, and its N Line variant dons a slightly more aggressive front fascia and 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as minor bits like a trim-specific seats and a shift knob that telegraph that the vehicle is something sort of special. That model goes the Euro engine route, with the 201 hp, 195 lb-ft 1.6L gas turbo found in the Elantra GT Sport remaining out of bounds. Over here, a six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch unit greet buyers.
As there’s been no spy shots sent our way, we turn to Europe for these images of the i30 N Line. The American-market Elantra GT N Line should appear this fall, probably at the Los Angeles auto show.
Elantra sales, encompassing both the sedan and hatch, rose 4 percent in the U.S. last month, with volume over the first seven months of 2018 just 58 cars shy of last July’s YTD figure.
Advance_92 on Aug 31, 2018
The i30N has 2.0 Liters with 247 HP, an e-diff that controls torque without applying the brakes and electronic dampers that put it well above the GTI, somewhere between that and a Golf R. The US Ns to date don't have any of this. Hyundai's N-Line is going to be as much a joke as Audi's S-Line or the little M Sport accouterments you can slap on to your pedestrian BMW for a few extra grand. Think of it as a 91 Sentra SE.
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