On what was the 8th anniversary of Hyundai's N efforts, the Korean brand hauled covers off its 2024 Elantra N sedan. Launched three years ago, the rip-roaring four-door has garnered plenty of attention (some of it from clueless cops) and for this model year earns some meaningful performance upgrades whilst adopting the regular Elantra's improved styling.

Gone is the catfish maw on the old car, a visage this author didn't mind but was definitely in the minority for thinking so. Now, a color-keyed bar bifurcates the front end, giving it a face that now sneers at the pavement ahead. Some of those new dips and slashes are functional, such as the air guides which improve braking performance by allowing air to flow directly towards the stoppers.

Elsewhere, ride and handling are given a boost thanks to a reinforced engine mount membrane, bushing reinforcements for improved yaw response and steering precision, and a new rear suspension insulator switched from rubber to urethane. Software for the car's driving modes has been tweaked to keep up with these physical changes. Computer techs also had a turn at the steering's lines of code, altering it to play nicely with the new parts which, in terms of the tiller, also include a low-friction u-joint and factory tire pressures increased by one pound per square inch. The car's brain has also been reprogrammed to squeeze the most out of high-octane fuel.

Changes like those, especially the minute ones and software follow-up to make the most of fresh suspension gear, are a great indicator of how seriously Hyundai takes its N program, which is great news in a world where so many of these things are reduced to paint-n-wallpaper trims after much initial fanfare.

If you're in need of a refresh, the Elantra N has a 2.0L turbo mill and can be equipped with a six-speed manual or eight-speed dual-clutch. Power checks in at 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft, though some outlets are reporting a temporary bump to 286 ponies when drivers hammer the N Grin Shift button. Official docs from Friday's release don't mention that (yet), so we're sticking with the Hyundai spec sheet until we can corral those horses ourselves.

[Images: Hyundai]

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2023-09-18T20:09:33Z dg43tfdfdgfd