2022 Hyundai Elantra N debuts for U.S. with 276 hp and manual transmission

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The 2022 Hyundai Elantra N was supposed to be making its grand North American debut at the New York Auto Show this week, but with that being canceled late in the game, Hyundai has taken the virtual approach once more.

We’ve already seen this car and know virtually all the necessary details, so today is more about checking out the new photos and confirming North American specs and features. The initial set of photos showed the Elantra N in Hyundai’s Performance Blue paint, but these images reveal it in white. The white paint only highlights its giant maw further. The design changes between the standard Elantra and the N still look rather dramatic in these new photos, and we’ll reserve final aesthetic judgement for inspecting the new styling in person.

As for the important stuff, Hyundai confirmed the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and its 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. Pressing the “N Grin Shift” button boosts that up to 286 horsepower for 20 seconds at a time by increasing boost pressure. Hyundai says the interval time between presses is only 40 seconds, so you could theoretically use it on every lap when on a track. You’ll need to spec the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to get the N Grin Shift power, though, as it’s not available with the standard six-speed manual.

We wish we could share more details like price, fuel economy and specific availability, but Hyundai has left these vital details out of its North American debut today. Instead, we can just confirm that everything you read about in the car’s international release carries over to the U.S.-spec car.

Hyundai fits an electronic limited-slip differential to properly wrangle the power up front. It gets fairly large brakes (14.2-inch rotors in front) with high-friction pads — Hyundai even modified the brake dust covers for greater cooling capacity instead of dust blockage. We can also confirm that all Elantra Ns will be fitted with a mechanical parking brake, not an electronic one. Hallelujah to sick winter drifts.

The chassis and suspension is fully worked over for N duties. Hyundai integrates the drive shaft, wheel hub and bearing into one piece for a stronger, lighter driveline. New, stiffer bushings are used throughout the suspension, and Hyundai says use of a dual-compound insulator on the front suspension helps handling and NVH. Extra bracing is used front-to-rear for better rigidity, and you’ll actually see one of the extra stiffening bars painted red in the trunk. And of course, Hyundai uses electronically-controlled adaptive dampers to adjust your damping on the fly.

There isn’t a whole lot going on with aero, but Hyundai promises the rear wing improves stability in and out of corners. It also has greater underbody coverage to improve aerodynamics. You can go with the standard, enhanced N seat, but Hyundai will also be offering an “N light bucket seat” optionally that is thinner and lowers the seating position by 10 mm.

Hyundai also confirmed for us that the Elantra N will get a suite of driver assistance systems. The big ones include blind spot warning (w/collision avoidance assist), rear cross-traffic alert (also w/avoidance assist), forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping, lane-following (keeps car centered in lane) and auto high beams.

The last little tidbit we’ll drop on you today concerns a new slogan from Hyundai N. It’s simple: “Never just drive.” That one’s fairly self explanatory, and it works well with the products Hyundai N has put out. As for this Elantra N, we’re still not totally certain when it’s going to officially go on sale. Stay tuned, though, because it can’t be too much longer.

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