When you look at the Subaru WRX, it seems that it's in a class of its own. It offers more performance than most top-spec compact sedans, but it's not quite at the level of its big brother, the WRX STI. You can think of the WRX as a junior high-performance sedan that's a little more forgiving than its hardcore counterpart.
But coming soon is a close rival to that, and it comes from Hyundai. Yes, Hyundai wants to pick a fight with Subaru for sport compact sedan supremacy, and they want to do that with the Elantra N. No, it's not just an Elantra with a body kit because Hyundai is serious about its performance aspirations.
Hyundai confirmed the powertrain for the Elantra N, and the stats are promising. Under the hood is a boosted 2.0-liter engine straight from the Veloster N. That means it makes 275 PS and 392 Nm of torque. Also, here's a bit of info that should please the purists; the Elantra N comes standard with a six-speed manual. But for those who prefer driving with two pedals, an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is optional.
Here's the fascinating bit: the Elantra N will not have an all-wheel-drive system like its main competitor. To make up for that, it has electronically-controlled dampers, along with a more aggressive limited-slip differential. For enhanced roadholding, Hyundai even ditched the torsion beam suspension at the back and fitted a multi-link, independent arrangement.
For now, Hyundai didn't say when the Elantra N is coming, but since they showed most of it, an early 2021 launch is possible. That said, a local launch doesn't seem probable as there isn't a lot of promotions about the N Performance division. Still, one can wish for it here because we think it's a cool alternative to the Subaru WRX.