Hyundai Prepared to Juice Elantra GT Sales, Without Adding Extra Juice

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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.

[Images: Hyundai]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on Aug 30, 2018

    Is this how you say "Golf R-Line" in Korean?

  • Advance_92 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.

  • Ajla "Gee, wonder why car (as well as home) insurance rates are much higher in places like Florida..." Severe weather is on the list but even if a benevolent genie reverted the climate to circa 1724 I think FL would still have high cost. Our home insurance rates have increased 102% since 2021 and I don't think weather models account for that much of a change in that period. Florida's insurance assignment of benefit regulation meant that it had ~80% of the country's of the insurance lawsuits on ~12% of the nation's claims and litigated claims can be expensive to insurance companies. The state altered some regulations and is having some success on getting more companies back, even with the severe weather risks, through relatively bipartisan efforts. With car insurance just beyond the basic "Florida" stuff, the population increase of the past few years is overwhelming the roads. But, I think the biggest thing is we have very low mandated car insurance levels. Only $10K personal injury and $10K property damage. No injury liability needed. And 20% of the state has no insurance. So people that actually want insurance pay out the nose. Like I commented above my under/uninsured coverage alone is 2.5x my comprehensive & collision.
  • Juan Let's do an 1000 mile drive and see who gets there first.
  • Eliyahu CVT needed for MPG. Outback is indeed the legacy of, err, the Legacy.
  • Gayneu I can comment on these. My wife always thought the Minis were "cute" so I bought her a used 2005 (non-S, 5 speed) for one of her "special" birthdays. She loved it and I kinda did too. Somehow a hole developed in the transmission case and the fluid drained out, ruining the car (too expensive to fix). A local mechanic bought it for $800.We then bought a used 2015 S (6 speed) which we still have today (80k miles). Her sister just bought a used S as well (also manual). It has been a dependable car but BMW-priced maintenance and premium gas hurts for sure. I think the earlier generation (like in the article) were better looking with cleaner lines. The 2015 S rides too stiff for me (Chicago roads) but is a hoot on smooth ones. It does seem to shift weird - its hard to describe but it shifts differently from every other manual I have driven. No matter how hard I try, so won't let go of her Mini.
  • Crown Seems like they cut some cylinders too.A three cylinder...where are they planning on selling that??