Hyundai Shows Refreshed Elantra N in Shanghai

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

If you liked those styling tweaks given to the upcoming Elantra (née Avante), you’ll surely enjoy Hyundai’s treatment of its upcoming N variant. Shown this week at the Shanghai Auto Show, the N sallies forth with styling improvements found on the standard car – turned up to 11, of course.

While the Elantra N rear fascia looks very similar to last year’s model, the front end takes on a sharper look and bins some of the odd shapes which made it look like a surprised sculpin. The sleek and smooth nose has a light bar bookended by new headlamps (maybe Mercury was simply ahead of its time) and appropriately grumpy angles have been given to the bumper and intake areas.

Sharp character creases remain on its flanks, flummoxing anyone seeking to affix business decals and giving those who wrap cars for a living more nightmares than they can handle. The machine shown in these images has a different set of wheels than previously seen on an Elantra N, though those could be region-specific and swapped out at any time. We hope the black badges make it here, as well.

Something else we hope isn’t lost in translation? The current car’s manual transmission. While there is no indication of any sort the N’s stick is on the chopping block, we’re always weary of dour bean-counting losers inside companies who’ll push for cost savings at the expense of driving fun. At present, the Elantra N makes 276 horses from a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four, along with appropriately entertaining crackle-n-bang settings for the exhaust.

That reminds us – in the autumn of last year, an Elantra N owner was hauled over and informed by a blustering cop that the car was illegal in its existing operation mode and it would cost $7,000 to remove the offending parts and make it kosher. Er, right. Leaving aside all observations about how people in positions of authority can cause lots of headaches simply because they are ill-informed or simply having a bad day, recent updates to the case indicate the driver no longer owns the Elantra N. All the details are at that link but the TL;DR is that Hyundai bought back the car even though it was operating exactly as designed.

The 2024 Elantra, and its N variant, will likely show up on this side of the pond within the next 12 months.

[Images: Hyundai]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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4 of 7 comments
  • Mountainman Mountainman on Apr 18, 2023

    Looks way better in the front. Guaranteed no more horsepower. Still a hard pass from me, but I am a total hatchback snob.

    • See 1 previous
    • John R John R on Apr 20, 2023

      "For example, I think Kia made a mistake with the Stinger.....a mechanically neat machine, but way too loooong."

      🤔 You know that the Stinger was designed to compete with cars as long as the 5-series, A7, Dodge Charger, etcetera, yeah?

  • Spookiness Spookiness on Apr 19, 2023

    "entertaining crackle-n-bang settings for the exhaust."

    This is an OEM thing now? Ugh. EV transition can't come fast enough.

    At least I won't have to endure simulated gunshot sounds day and night.

  • Digital wwoww
  • Probert No, they're not the future. BEV sales are growing every year, and, along with sound energy policy, result in cleaner air, lower CO2, foreign policy not based on oil, and will continue to drive like a smooth powerful nearly silent turbine. Some 19% of new car sales in 2023 were BEVs - this will continue.
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  • Redapple2 Love/lust a 110 diesel defender. Should buy one since the INEOS is gas only (and double the price). Had a lightweight in Greece. Wonder how this rides.
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