By on August 19, 2021

Hyundai’s performance offensive continues with the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N.

Which, yes, is available with a manual transmission.

Hyundai already offers a spiced-up Elantra N-Line (which also allows the driver to shift for his or herself), but now there’s a model for those who pick the spiciest sauce option at the chicken-wing joint.

A 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with direct injection is at the heart of it all, making up to 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. Peak horsepower hits around 5,500 RPM, while peak torque is available as low as 2,100 RPM.

Available transmissions are a six-speed manual and an eight-speed wet, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The auto offers the “N Grin Shift” feature, which temporarily increases boost pressure, giving the car 286 horsepower for a few seconds. The automatic also gets “N Power Shift” (maximizes torque for upshifts) and “N Track Sense Shift” (automatically finds the correct gear and shift timing when the car senses it’s being driven on track) features.

Rev-matching is available with both transmissions and can be turned on/off via a steering-wheel button on the manual.

Hyundai has given the car an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential to help reduce understeer, launch control (for both transmissions), and a variable-exhaust valve system.

The car has 14.2-inch brake rotors and Hyundai has set things up to make sure they’re able to cool off easily. Purists will note that the parking brake is mechanical. handbrake turns for all?

Hyundai claims to have saved a few pounds by integrating the driveshaft and wheel hub and bearing. Another weight reduction is apparently achieved by integrating the air intake and air filter. Hyundai has also adjusted the shape of the powertrain mount in a bid to improve handling. The N has rack-mounted electronic power steering.

Insulation has been added to the stiffened electronically-controlled/dampened suspension to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness. A virtual engine-sound system is available. The car rides on Michelin Pilot Sport tires (245 width) and 19-inch wheels.

As with the Kona N, there’s an N-specific infotainment screen that gives the driver all sorts of performance info, and drive modes can adjust things like steering feel.

The car gets a body kit that includes a unique front fascia, lip spoiler, rear-wing spoiler, rear diffuser, and dual exhaust.

Inside, you’ll get a lot of N badges, paddle shifters for the automatic, sport seats that are lower and thinner, and steering-wheel buttons for the N modes (including Sport, Sport +, and N mode) and for the N Grin Shift (for automatics).

Safety and driver’s aids aren’t forgotten, as the Elantra N includes forward collision-avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist, driver-attention warning, high-beam assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance alert, and safe-exit warning.

Hyundai’s BlueLink connected-car application is available.

Feature-wise, everything is standard, meaning your only choice is transmission and color. Those colors include Performance Blue and Cyber Gray. Those standard features include LED lighting, wireless device charging, heated front seats, Bose audio, navigation, Bluetooth, satellite radio, 10.25-inch infotainment screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, dual USB ports, dual-zone climate control, digital key, keyless entry and starting, and hand-free trunk release.

Pricing hasn’t been released, but Hyundai says it will undercut the Honda Civic Type R, which it sees as a rival. Speaking of rivals, Hyundai has also targeted the Volkswagen GTI and GLI, and the redesigned Subaru WRX, even though that car is all-wheel drive and the Elantra N is front-drive.

As always, we can’t fully judge a car until we drive it, but based on the paper specs, we’ll happily choose the full-spice option.

[Images: Hyundai]

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25 Comments on “2022 Hyundai Elantra N: The Full Hotness...”

  • avatar

    The number of recent vehicle releases offering a manual transmission seems pretty high.

    • 0 avatar

      I mean, car companies contain car people. It’s why they got into the industry. The downside is when they push for these projects and they don’t sell, because most people aren’t car people.

      That said, I see a future where most non-hybrid, non-electric vehicles get marketed towards performance or work applications; those are the folks who will be willing to pay for gas as prices and environmental pressures keep rising. And, honestly, that’s ok by me. That’s really the future that I always pictured for ICE engines since the rise of the electric commuter vehicle.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX


    A little more body color up front would help. And in other photos of this car, the “N” on the brake calipers is on its side, reading like a “Z” to bystanders. They should fix that.

    Integrating the driveshaft and wheel hub and bearing sounds like a future service nightmare, especially for anyone who drives this car as intended. But I guess that’s for the 3rd owner to worry about. Hyundai doesn’t make wheel bearing changes easy, says my first-hand knowledge.

    If Hyundai is going to go up against established players in this niche, they should produce some ads demonstrating why this car is the right choice.

    • 0 avatar

      I thought the same thing, but the more I think about it, labor wise it may be more cost effective to have one piece. But my guess is the part will be fairly expensive.

      I’m thinking if you engineer it right, you would pull off the caliper un bolt the hub/spindle and pull the whole thing out and bolt a new one in.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m finding pretty much every Hyundai to be pretty grotesque lately. This is one of the few cars that, if I could convince myself I wanted, would need to be black. Black would hide whatever is going on with that bumper. Generally speaking I like colors, but not in this case.

      Maybe whatever this is would work in a dark blue or dark green.

  • avatar

    My guess is automakers found a more cost effective “HALO car”. Instead of a hugely expensive model built to a CEO’s specs, build a few sub models of cars that hit auto journalist desires. Auto Jurnos fall in love give them way too much press and extend praise to the automakers non enthusiast vehicles.
    It really seems that is the goal behind the new Z and Integra at least, get the most press possible while spending the least development dollars.

  • avatar

    Drove the lesser “N line” a few months ago, and it was nice, if a bit underpowered. Also drove the Sonata N, and it was quick, but torque steer was an issue. Thoughts:

    1) My main issue with the Elantra was styling, and still is with this car.
    2) Hyundai’s doing a FAR better job with DCTs these days. The wet clutch makes a big difference.
    3) If the Veloster N is any guide, Hyundai dealers will be going full greed-head with this car.

    I’d actually take the Kona N over this, based on looks alone. But thank God Hyundai is giving us enthusiasts solid choices.

  • avatar

    Why is it always like this: good interior, bad exterior; and vice-versa.

    “A 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with direct injection”

    Is this a red flag?

    • 0 avatar

      Virtually every manufacturer has a 2.0 liter direct injected turbo….BMW, Mercedes, Audi/VW, GM, Hyundai, Infiniti etc….The biggest problem with direct injection is carbon buildup….Valves need to be blasted with walnut shells every 60,000- 80,000 miles

  • avatar
    Matt Posky

    Something about this mess really appeals to me.

  • avatar
    PSX 5k Ultra Platinum Triple Black

    You never touch the parking brake to do a j-turn. It seems to me like it would be hard to do in a manual transmission car, but I’m sure it can be done.

    I think you meant a bootlegger’s turn.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      A quick Google tells me that what I meant was, literally, a handbrake turn. I think. Learn something new everyday.

    • 0 avatar

      The reverse 180, J-turn, Rockford, etc, is easier in a manual, since reverse is back, forward is forward. But you don’t touch the service brakes either. Just crank the wheel to lock and back to center.

      The forward 180, yeah grab the handbrake.

  • avatar
    Undead Zed

    “…integrating the air intake and air filter”
    I’m not too clear on this part. Isn’t that already one system on most cars? Or do you mean that they made the cabin and engine intake use the same filter, somehow?

  • avatar

    It’s an unholy mess to look at. Very curved roof, curved waistline that rises, a trunk lid with overbite that appears to squash the rear light strip semi flat, and some bozo artist’s 3D impression of an abstract giant triangular cattle brand seared into the side with straight lines. A Mazda3 sedan makes this thing look amateurish. Just not a well-proportioned car.

    At least it avoids the Genesis CV60’s absurdly dreadful hood shut line forward of the A-pillar. That nonsense I coouldn’t believe in the newer post above. Ewww. Both of ’em.

  • avatar

    That blacked out front end just doesn’t work. It looks like the front clip was ripped off in an accident and the driver just kept on going.
    Hyundai will fix it, and the fix will look worse.

  • avatar

    This car fails, looks wise, that front end is a mess. But I’m old, so maybe younger people will like it. A little body color in the right areas would help a lot.

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