2024 Hyundai Elantra N - Review by David Colman +VIDEO (2024)

2024 Hyundai Elantra N

2024 Hyundai Elantra N

A perfect family race car

2024 Hyundai Elantra N - Review by David Colman +VIDEO (3)
David Colman

Photos and Story by David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL

    SCENE: Very early weekday morning. Light fog on Coast Route 1.

My wife and I were just returning home from a breakfast run to Stinson Beach when we spotted a quartet ofnew Porsches heading up the coast the other way. Curious about how Hyundai's latest sports sedan - our Elantra N test car this week - would stack up against Germany's finest, we pulleda U-turn and tagged onto the tail of the Porsche squadron. As you might expect, my not-so-subtle maneuver attracted some minor curiosity from the German quartet: black 911 Turbo, voodoo blue GT3Touring, speed yellow Boxster Speedster, taupe Cayman GT4. For 40 switchback miles up the coast, the Elantra N matched the Porsche phalanx move for move without so much as an errant twitch.And believe me, we were moving right along. All this from a five seat sedan that sells for just $36,350. That's about the cost of the full leather interior option on the current 911 order form.

A couple of years ago we tested the first version of the Elantra N and waxed euphoric about two features in particular. First off, it was wickedly quick; second, you could actually buy onewith a 6-speed manual transmission. We did enough raving about the N back then to prompt a family member to buy one, and he hasn't regretted the decision once. Now, for 2024, Hyundai hasdevised a slightly more handsome, more refined update of their ground breaking Elantra street racer. This time, they have stylistically refined the front and rear clips while retaining thesnazzy white/black/red graphics layout. It may look sleeker than before, but there's no mistaking that you're still looking at an Atlas White Elantra tweaked with red brakes, black alloys,and enough italic red and black "N" emblems to leave a lasting impression. What's even more impressive is the transformational moment when you mash the N's throttle and discoveryou've launched this so-called family car into orbit. Sixty miles per hour comes up in 4.8 seconds flat, 0-100 mph takes just 12.9 seconds, while the standing start quarter mile is dispatchedin 13.4 seconds at 106mph. Top speed crests at 136mph.

2024 Hyundai Elantra N

Straight line speed is all well and good - if you never venture off the drag strip. But if you're aiming to tame the twisties, bag an unsuspecting Porsche, or just want a family sedan goodfor track days, the Elantra N is your top choice. The list of enhancements Hyundai has amassed to convert a stock Elantra into a bounty hunter is long and complete. The company's race engineersspecify 19 x 8 inch forged alloy rims shod with 245/35R19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires. Arresting the gloss black wheels are 14.2 inch front and 12.4 inch rear ventilated brake rotors clampedby red N calipers. Multi-link rear suspension works in consort with a rear chassis brace and electronically controlled damper settings to improve road adhesion from the super sticky (TW300) Michelins.Hyundai adds a "Corner Carving" electronic limited slip differential (e-LSD) which enhances grip and traction mid-turn.

2024 Hyundai Elantra N

This year's N test Elantra featured the advanced 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, activated by sizeable paddles behind the race-style steering wheel. The 6-speed manual gearbox continuesin production. The automatic proved lightning quick on both upshifts and downshifts. Sliding the console-mounted shift knob from its right gate to its left gate allowed manual retention of driver-chosengears all the way to redline. On our extended Porsche foray, I left the stick in the manual gate, and manipulated the paddles to control gear choice. The downside of doing so is the engine spools up toredline so quickly that you're hard-pressed to keep it from bumping redline. Doing so instantly cuts all engine power. After a while I got the hang of the rhythm needed to keep ahead of the powercurve. Just leaving the gearbox in Drive would be a bit more relaxing, but not as involving.

2024 Hyundai Elantra N

The cabin of the N is perfectly suited to hard driving stints. The steering wheel, festooned with myriad controls, epitomizes track racing gear, with oversize shift paddles, plus a Hyundai-only"N-Grin Shift and Power Shift" that allows the 276hp, 2.0 liter turbo four to over-boost to 286hp for a limited number of seconds. A similar "N Grin Control System" enables accessto various track happy Drive Modes. Furthermore, you can fine tune virtually every aspect of vehicle performance from exhaust burble to rear slip of the e-LSD differential. Hyundai even includes a racetrack lap timer function with provisions for circuit length and specific track layouts from Laguna Seca to Sonoma Raceway to Road Atlanta and beyond.

2024 Hyundai Elantra N

2024 Hyundai Elantra N

2024 Hyundai Elantra N

The full race bucket seats of the N are perfect for retaining your torso at maximum g-load. The only thing missing is a set of full race harnesses. Despite the cosseting design, the side panels ofthese seats are low enough to ease ingress and egress. Hyundai's exacting attention to detail shines through, literally, in the "N" trademark of the headrest, which is actually illuminated.The rest of the tidy interior is all business, just what the driver needs for maximum concentration in this family race car.

2024 Hyundai Elantra N


    • ENGINE: 2.0 liter inline-4, turbocharged and intercooled, DOHC, 16-valve aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
    TORQUE: 289lb.-ft.@ 2100rpm
    FUEL CONSUMPTION: 20MPG City/27MPG Highway
    PRICE AS TESTED: $36,350

HYPES: Ultimate Street Racer


STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10

©2024 David E Colman

2024 Hyundai Elantra N - Review by David Colman +VIDEO (2024)


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