June 25, 2022

The Korean auto maker is now giving the complete ‘N therapy’ to its less-expensive automobiles, and that makes sporty efficiency a extra reasonably priced choice.Handout

Do we actually want high-performance variations of Hyundai’s grocery-getters, the Kona crossover and the Elantra sedan? In fact not, however what we want and what we would like are separate issues. The Korean auto maker is now giving the complete ‘N therapy’ to its less-expensive automobiles, and that makes sporty efficiency a extra reasonably priced choice.

You’re not going to win any traffic-light drags in opposition to a McLaren, or track-day races in opposition to a Porsche 911, however you’re going to pay a fraction of their costs for a good chunk of their skills.

There are three decisions of efficiency for every car: the conventional, the N Line, and now the N. The fundamental Kona might be the least-costly all-wheel-drive new car in Canada, with a beginning MSRP of $23,999 (although it can save you $2,000 by choosing FWD). There’s nothing mistaken with it and your mom should purchase one. She simply must go to the shop and possibly go to your children, in spite of everything. The Elantra sedan is even inexpensive at $17,999. It’s protected and durable and nice to take a look at, identical to your fridge.

Then there are these drivers who need somewhat extra, and who need to drive a compact car that helps them be ok with themselves. The Kona and Elantra supply extra snug and better-equipped variations for extra money, and if you wish to really feel a bit sporty, there are ‘N Line’ editions, too.

The N Line Kona is just AWD and prices simply over $28,000. It has a extra highly effective turbocharged engine that produces 195 hp, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and it seems to be typically sportier, with bigger wheels and a rear diffuser. The Elantra N Line is nearly $10,000 above the bottom sedan and it has related upgrades and enchantment.

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“We’ve our base fashions, that are the worth merchandise, with high quality and security,” says Ricardo Chan, Hyundai Canada’s supervisor of product and company technique.

“Then you’ve gotten ‘N Line,’ as a result of not everyone seems to be in search of a high-performance automotive, which could have uncomfortable seats, possibly robust on the suspension, it’s noisy, brakes are very aggressive, no matter. However they’re in search of the seems to be, and for one thing that possibly provides them a greater response.

“Then as soon as you progress to N, then you definately get the entire thing. You get the higher engines with 276 hp and 289 lbs.-ft. of torque. And also you get the DCT (double-clutch transmission) that’s higher synced with the engine to extract extra energy.”

Each the Kona and Elantra get a purple button on the steering wheel that Hyundai calls NGS, for ‘N Grin Shift.’ Press it and the DCT will drop all the way down to its quickest gear and for 20 seconds, the whole lot that may be adjusted will swap to most sportiness.Handout

You get an entire lot extra, too. The seems to be are there with purple accents all over the place, bigger 19-inch alloy wheels, rear wing spoilers, bucket seats and aluminum pedals. The instrumentation is absolutely digital and appears like a online game. The dealing with is considerably improved, with digital managed suspension, an digital limited-slip differential, and bigger brakes. The Elantra even has a ‘rear stiff bar’ behind the again seats that reinforces twisted physique rigidity by virtually 30 per cent.

There are many different adjustments, not all of them to each fashions. Solely the Elantra N, for instance, will get selectable and synthetic exhaust sound that’s pumped by way of the car audio system, although I scrolled by way of all of them and didn’t detect a lot audible distinction.

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Each, nevertheless, get a horny purple button on the steering wheel that Hyundai calls NGS, for ‘N Grin Shift.’ Press it and the DCT will drop all the way down to its quickest gear and for 20 seconds, the whole lot that may be adjusted will swap to most sportiness. After the 20 seconds is up, it could possibly’t be activated for one more 40 seconds to permit the car to get well, however I believe that is advertising and marketing, to make it appear extra on the sting than it truly is. Hyundai absolutely noticed the recognition of the same Sport Response button on Porsche’s PDK transmission.

There’s unique paint – People don’t get the cool ‘Efficiency Blue’ color on their Kona Ns as a result of they don’t suppose it fits an SUV, however Canadians do as a result of we get it. The Kona N is offered solely with front-wheel drive as a result of the powertrain is developed from the present Veloster N, however which may change if sufficient Canadians yell loudly sufficient. And the Elantra N will get an elective six-speed stick shift that’s probably the greatest transmissions I’ve ever loved. I’d purchase this automotive with my very own cash only for that transmission, which can be as much as $1,400 inexpensive than the eight-speed DCT model.

How a lot will these N automobiles value? Hyundai isn’t saying till nearer to their launch date in a month or so, however a take a look at the pricing of the Veloster household suggests someplace within the low $40s, in all probability round $43,000 for every. The one choices can be for the guide transmission within the Elantra, and for the no-extra-cost paint.

After introducing the favored Veloster N in 2018, Hyundai’s given the N therapy to 2 different automobiles: the Elantra and the Kona.Handout

That’s a hefty chunk of change above the lesser editions, so I took each N automobiles onto the observe right here, and onto an autocross course, to mash the pedals to the ground and put them by way of the efficiency wringer. And, whoa!

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The Elantra N was the extra succesful observe automotive, with its decrease centre of gravity and barely lighter weight. The guide transmission shaves 50 kg off the full weight of the DCT-equipped automotive, however the digital trickery of the DCT permits it to be sooner, with lightning-quick shifts and an official zero-to-100 km/h time of 5.3 seconds, because of launch management. The Kona is simply a few tenths of a second behind it, and each engines use Common gasoline, not Premium.

The observe was very moist in locations and the automobiles’ traction management saved my bottom many instances. Even so, on the dry parts, the Elantra held flat all through and pulled strongly out of each nook. Most torque is offered from as little as 2,100 rpm, making the duty less complicated. The DCT was distinctive at realizing precisely which gear to pick, even after I punched the NGS button (which is a foolish identify, however what the heck). Even so, I nonetheless desire the guide transmission, which has a rev matching button rather than the NGS that makes each shift really feel just like the easy flick of a chook’s wings.

The Kona N? There was somewhat extra roll from the taller experience top after all, however it was terrific. Simply as a lot enjoyable as a Volkswagen Golf GTI (which might be ordered with a stick shift), with much less of the brutish nature of the full-bore Golf R. It appeared to whip across the corners like a go-kart, crackling and popping all the best way.

Happily, on the street it was straightforward to overlook the Ns had been able to such efficiency. Their suede seats had been snug, their brakes not too grabby, and the sting may very well be taken off their suspension and energy by setting the Drive Mode to Regular and even Eco.

However the place’s the enjoyable in that?

The author was a visitor of the auto maker. Content material was not topic to approval.

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