Five months ago, Hyundai took the covers off the all-new Elantra. Featuring a sleeker and sexier look, the compact sedan features the brand’s new styling direction called ‘Sensuous Sportiness’.
While the car itself is a looker inside and out, some might say its engines leave something to be desired. When it was first revealed, it was only available with two engine options: a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated inline-four that puts out 147 PS with 179 Nm of torque and a 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain that produces 139 PS with 265 Nm of torque.
Clearly, the Elantra could do with a much more powerful engine under its hood, along with some suspension and body upgrades here and there. Well, it looks like Hyundai has heard its customers’ pleas as they recently launched the 2021 Elantra N Line. Now serving as the model’s most powerful variant to date, the Elantra N Line gets a turbocharged heart under its hood, N Line design elements, and a racing-inspired cabin.
But first, let’s start with its design. While it may look similar to a standard Elantra, the N Line version actually sports a more aggressive ‘cascading grille’ complete with an N Line badge. It also has sporty side skirts, stylish 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust finishers, and an integrated trunk spoiler. To top it all off, the side mirror caps and the lower air intakes are finished in black.
As for the interior, it gets N Sport seats with leather bolsters, a leather-wrapped N steering wheel, alloy pedals, metal accents on the gear shifter, and paddle shifters for the dual-clutch variant. Like the standard Elantra, two 10.25-inch screens are present inside the sedan. The first screen serves as an instrument panel, while the other screen is the touchscreen infotainment system.
The driving force of the Elantra N Line is a 1.6-liter direct-injection, turbocharged engine. Despite its compact size, the engine produces an impressive 204 PS and 265 Nm of torque. Power can then be sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Besides getting a turbocharged heart, the Elantra N Line also comes with a stiffer suspension, larger disc brakes at the front, and a multi-link rear for better handling.
With over 200 horsepower and nearly 270 Nm of torque, the Elantra N Line is looking a lot like a hot sedan. But doesn’t the Kia Forte GT produce the same amount of power? Well, that’s because the Elantra N Line is (essentially) the mechanical twin of Kia’s own turbocharged four-door. It looks like a sibling rivalry is brewing between these sedans.
The only question now is, which would you prefer, the Elantra or the Forte?