Sport No More: Hyundai Elantra N Line Enters the Picture

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Typically, using the word “sport” to describe a sportier, more powerful version of a bread and butter model goes over well with consumers. It’s straightforward, leaving little room for confusion.

Well, sport is out at Hyundai, and N Line is in. No, not “N” — that’s the Korean marque’s full-on sporting sub-brand. The trim level below it, which still offers improved power and road-holding, is N Line. Think of it as N Lite, if that helps.

Which is a lengthy way of saying N Line is exactly was Sport was, and will remain when the next-generation Elantra sedan gets around to welcoming a warmed-up variant.

Officially teased by an attention-seeking Hyundai while still wearing camo, the 2021 Elantra N Line replaces the Elantra Sport that bowed in 2017. Sporting a 201-horsepower/195 lb-ft turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four and a choice of seven-speed dual-clutch or six-speed manual, the Elantra Sport was a value-priced alternative to more well-established foreign fare. It also had a sibling in the Elantra GT Sport hatch.

Given that Hyundai’s already renamed the Elantra GT Sport the Elantra GT N Line without altering that model’s powertrain, one can presume Hyundai will stage a return of that combo. A bigger question is whether the manual transmission, dropped for 2020, will return.

Hyundai put more thought into the Sport/N Line Elantras than one might think, swapping the base model’s torsion beam rear for a multi-link suspension, adding beefier dampers, upgraded brakes, upsized wheels, and mildly revised front and rear fascias for good measure. It’s assumed the same treatment will appear on the 2021 model.

We’ll learn more about the longer/lower/wider Elantra N Line’s specs and price closer to the model’s on-sale date later this year.

[Images: Hyundai]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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