When Hyundai announced an “N Line” trim level to complement its N performance sub-brand, we initially presumed it would akin to Chevrolet’s Redline vehicles or Volkswagen’s R-Line. If you’re unfamiliar with these vehicles, they can be summed up by the classic idiom “all show and no go,” and are only a small sample of a broader trend sweeping the industry.
Fortunately, it turns out Hyundai cares about more than just looking good. While we can’t speak for the upcoming wave of N Line products the Korean automaker has in store, we can discuss the Elantra GT N Line — the first of these mid-range performance models, revealed Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The N Line replaces the existing Elantra GT Sport as the sportiest variant of Hyundai’s compact hatch and introduces some assertive styling choices borrowed from the Veloster and Europe-only i30 N.
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.
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