Since Hyundai unveiled the new Elantra in March, it has promised that an N Line performance version will follow. The company reminded us of its sporting intentions at the end of April by revealing images of a camouflaged pre-production prototype. Today, the disguise stands out as the South Korean brand shows its response to the VW Jetta GLI and the Honda Civic Si.
Lots of changes have been made to visually distinguish the N Line from the compact sedan from the lower trim levels, starting at the front where the cascading grille has a more aggressive look. The bumper has been redesigned and now accommodates more robust air intakes with a trio of boomerang-shaped ornaments.
A closer look at the side profile reveals a shiny new set of 18-inch alloy wheels with a two-tone finish as well as lowered ride height thanks to a stiffer suspension configuration. The side skirts seem to be more prominent than those of the standard Elantra and the mirror caps seem to have a darker finish.
Moving to the rear, the most obvious upgrade is the dual exhaust system built into the redesigned bumper now housing a pseudo diffuser. A subtle trunk lid fin reminds us that this is not your ordinary Elantra.
Hyundai is shy about the details about the oily bits, but the N Line could have a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine borrowed from the Elantra GT N Line. In the five-door hatchback, it’s good for 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet (264 Newton-meters) of torque. We know an automatic transmission is planned, and we hope that the Elantra GT’s six-speed manual will also be available to appeal to both worlds.
Expect a full revelation in the coming weeks or months before launching in the U.S. by the end of the year. To give you an idea of what it could cost, VW wants $ 26,245 for a basic Jetta GLI while Honda requests $ 25,200 for a Civic Si Sedan.
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