Elevating the 'Hot Sedan' Game: Meet the 2024 Hyundai Elantra N

In a move that marks a significant milestone for Hyundai's high-performance N sub-brand, the automaker has pulled the wraps off its latest sensation—the 2024 Elantra N. The newest family member also marks the celebration of the N brand's eighth anniversary, reassuring Hyundai's commitment to delivering motorsport-inspired performance for the road.
2024 Hyundai Elantra N 8 photos
Photo: Hyundai
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With its global debut coinciding with this special occasion, the Elantra N sheds new light on what it means to be a 'hot sedan' in today's automotive landscape. But don't let the fanfare distract you. The new Elantra N is not only a ceremonial figurehead but also a technological tour de force.

From its advanced safety features to its finely-tuned performance capabilities, Hyundai Motor's newest addition to its lineup promises to offer an emotionally engaging driving experience that's rooted in three core pillars of the N brand: Corner Rascal, Racetrack Capability, and Everyday Sportscar.

So, what makes the 2024 Elantra N so appealing?

The genesis

2024 Hyundai Elantra N
Photo: Hyundai

When it comes to high-performance vehicles, Hyundai's N brand has carved out a unique space in an arena traditionally dominated by European powerhouses. Back in 2012, a high-performance vehicle division was born at Hyundai's Global Research & Development Center in Namyang, South Korea, with the aim of re-entering the World Rally Championship (WRC) series.

The unveiling of the i20 WRC concept car at the 2012 Paris Motor Show was followed by the establishment of the official Hyundai Motorsport subsidiary in Alzenau, Germany, in an effort to bolster Hyundai's preparations for re-entry into the WRC.

The 'N" sub-brand name was revealed at the 2014 Frankfurt Motor Show, paying homage to both its birthplace in Namyang and the iconic Nürburgring racetrack in Germany, where all N models undergo rigorous testing. The N logo itself is inspired by the shape of chicanes in racing circuits, symbolizing the brand's motorsport DNA.

The N brand made its debut with the i30 N in 2016, setting the stage for a series of high-performance vehicles that would follow. Over the years, the brand has expanded its portfolio, introducing models like the Veloster N and the i30 Fastback and, more recently, the Elantra N in 2021.

The N brand's commitment to performance is not just limited to engines, as it extends to advanced technologies like electronically controlled differentials and suspensions, which have become standard equipment in its vehicles. The N brand's success is not just about the technical advancements of its cars but also about the people who made it all possible.

Passionate teams of engineers and key management figures such as Albert Biermann, who previously led BMW's high-performance car development, and Klaus Köster, a former member of Mercedes AMG, have been instrumental in shaping the N brand's vision. Their collective expertise has helped Hyundai N evolve from a newcomer to a formidable player in the high-performance vehicle market.

From the racetrack to the road

2024 Hyundai Elantra N
Photo: Hyundai
When the Elantra N first roared onto the scene in 2021, it quickly became a favorite among driving enthusiasts. The Elantra N played a pivotal role in extending the N brand's reach, particularly making waves in the United States and Australia.

The first Elantra N model originated from the track-only Elantra N TCR, its motorsport counterpart, which has been a formidable competitor, racking up multiple victories such as the Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race for two consecutive years in 2021 and 2022 and the WTCR team and driver championship in 2022.

This racetrack success wasn't just for bragging rights; it served as a testing ground for technological advancements. Insights gained from the Elantra N Cup One Make Racing series have been meticulously applied to refine the production car's software and hardware, making the Elantra N a road car with a championship pedigree.

As the N brand sets its sights on new horizons, including a significant push into the Chinese market, the Elantra N is once again at the forefront. The 2024 model, which made its Chinese debut at Auto Shanghai 2023 together with the Elantra N TCR, is a transformation and an evolution that further builds on its motorsport heritage.

A dynamic stance

2024 Hyundai Elantra N
Photo: Hyundai
The exterior design of the 2024 Elantra N is about merging superior aesthetics with the brand's high-performance ethos. The car's front end immediately grabs attention with its lowered stance, amplified by expansive black trim and vibrant exterior accents. These elements, in concert with a more assertive bumper, create an aura of dynamism and aggression that is quintessentially N.

Moving to the flanks of the vehicle, the Elantra N sports red striping that adorns both the front and rear bumpers, as well as the side sills. This splash of color not only adds a layer of visual excitement but also serves to underline the car's high-performance character. Complementing this is a newly designed black anodized emblem, set to become the new visual hallmark of the N brand.

As you transition to the rear, the design continues to impress with the enlarged black rear bumper, working in harmony with a newly introduced boat tail detail. This is not just for show, as it also enhances the vehicle's aerodynamic efficiency, proving that every design choice serves a functional purpose.

While the exterior screams performance, the interior whispers comfort without sacrificing an ounce of sportiness. The cabin is adorned with N-specific elements, from the steering wheel and shift knob to the instrument cluster and infotainment systems.

And for those who genuinely want to feel at one with the N brand, the sport bucket seats come complete with an illuminated N logo, ensuring that occupants are continually reminded of the car's performance credentials while enjoying a comfortable ride.

Where motorsport technology meets everyday driving

2024 Hyundai Elantra N
Photo: Hyundai
The 2024 Elantra N is a masterclass in dynamic performance, comfort, and safety, thanks to a slew of motorsport-derived enhancements. Starting with the ride and handling, the vehicle features a fortified engine mount membrane designed to minimize post-movement vibrations and enhance agility.

The G-bushing has been reinforced to provide a more responsive yaw and steering precision. Additionally, the rear suspension's S/ABS insulator has been switched from rubber to urethane, offering improved damping and yaw responsiveness. These changes are complemented by an upgraded Electronic Controlled Suspension (ECS) system, fine-tuned for superior body control.

When it comes to steering, the Elantra N leaves no room for compromise. The gearbox yoke specifications have been refined to offer drivers better feedback and a more direct connection to the road. A low-friction universal joint further sharpens steering accuracy. The software for the motor-driven power steering has been recalibrated to align with the new chassis and steering modifications.

Even the tire pressure has been minutely adjusted—now at 36/34 psi (2.48/2.34 bar), up from 35/33 psi (2.41/2.28 bar)—to balance the increased load on the front axle without affecting the vehicle's overall ride and handling.

2024 Hyundai Elantra N
Photo: Hyundai
Ensuring consistent performance no matter the conditions, Hyundai has also improved its already advanced cooling system. For the new model, a duct-style air guard directs airflow over the radiator to optimize speed, aerodynamics, and fuel efficiency, even under the most demanding conditions. The wing-type spoiler not only adds to the car's sporty aesthetics but also improves aerodynamics, allowing for quicker corner exits.

Braking is another area where the 2024 Elantra N will shine. A front bumper air guide, inspired by motorsport technology, channels air directly to the brakes, dissipating heat and enhancing braking performance. This is further boosted by updated Electronic Stability Control (ESC) software and a thermal protector on the front brake hose, increasing the system's endurance.

Under the hood, the Elantra N is powered by a specially developed 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo GDi engine designed exclusively for the N family. This engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, pumping out an impressive 280 PS (206 kW) and 289 lb-ft (392 Nm) of torque, with a top speed that clocks in at a blistering 174 mph (280 km/h).

The legacy continues, on and off the track

2024 Hyundai Elantra N
Photo: Hyundai
A comprehensive look at the 2024 Elantra N would be incomplete without acknowledging its role in enhancing Hyundai's motorsport legacy. Hyundai N has unveiled a film that celebrates both the new Elantra N and the dedicated community of 'N-thusiasts' who have been loyal to the brand from the beginning. This film serves a dual purpose: it showcases the latest Elantra N while featuring cars owned by fans, highlighting the strong bond between the brand and its community.

The love affair between enthusiasts and the Elantra N is not a recent phenomenon. It traces back to the early '90s when Australian rally legend Wayne Bell took to the tracks in a Hyundai Lantra, an Elantra predecessor. Bell's early successes laid the groundwork for what would become a storied motorsport heritage for Hyundai. The 2024 Elantra N is a testament to this legacy, promising to deliver petrol-powered, fun-to-drive performance for as long as regulations permit.

Hyundai N has come a long way since its launch in 2015, evolving into a globally recognized high-performance brand in just eight years. The new Elantra N, which made its world premiere at Auto Shanghai 2023, marked the brand's entry into China, Asia's largest high-performance vehicle market. This move not only expands Hyundai N's global footprint but also strengthens its competitive edge, especially with the Elantra N TCR's multiple victories in the 2023 TCR China Touring Car Championship.

As the global rollout of the new 2024 Elantra N begins, customers worldwide will soon have the opportunity to experience this masterwork of engineering and design firsthand. Whether you're a long-time fan or new to the N brand, the 2024 Elantra N promises a memorable driving experience that honors its rich heritage while pushing the boundaries of what's possible in a high-performance Hyundai.

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About the author: Dan Marinescu
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Since his early childhood, Dan developed an avid passion for cars and, now he sees himself as a genuine petrolhead. His enthusiasm comes from his father, an automotive engineer. They love to reminisce about the days when his dad showed him the inner workings of an engine and why everything does what it does.
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