Hyundai Elantra GT N Line expands N performance lineup with mild upgrades
16 January 2019 - Autoblog
It replaces the Elantra GT Sport
Down with the Hyundai Elantra GT Sport, long live the Elantra GT N Line! For 2019, Hyundai is ditching the Sport moniker for its Elantra hatchback in order to align with the naming for its new N performance kingdom. So, technically, the GT Sport isn't going anywhere, as it's essentially the same model. With slight aesthetic, powertrain, and chassis upgrades, the GT N Line marks history for the Hyundai as the introduction of the mildly spicy N Line trim to the U.S. market.
Hyundai sees itself as having five different tiers of vehicles. It starts with the base models, the next-highest are the N Line vehicles, and N performance automobiles are above that. Atop all three of these vehicles will be a halo car that Hyundai considers a "brand shaper," with motorsport cars representing the top-level pinnacle of development. An option for custom N features will also be available across the base, N Line, and N vehicles.
In theory, the structuring is roughly similar to that seen on some Volkswagen vehicles. VW only offers an R high-performance model on the Golf. Several other vehicles in the lineup, however, are available in R-Line trims, which option the models with more attitude. Now that Hyundai has introduced the Veloster N high-performance model, Hyundai will offer the lower-tier N Line trim on multiple vehicles. The Elantra GT N Line is sensibly the first.
Make no mistake assuming Hyundai stopped at simply changing the name of the car. Using the 2018 Elantra GT Sport as the bar, Hyundai claims it has increased the engine mount stiffness by 6.3 percent, trans mount stiffness by 24 percent, and the "rollroad" mount stiffness by 37.1 percent. The springs were also stiffened up 14.3 percent in front and 21.9 percent in the rear.
The stability bar diameter drops from 24 mm to 23 mm in the front but increases from 14 mm to 17 mm in the rear. The shocks and steering also received fresh tunes, but Hyundai does not list the car's increase in overall rigidity. The cherries on top are new 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires on the manual model that replace the old GT Sport's old 18-inch Hankook all-seasons.
The car's performance remains the same. It carries over the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. It is offered with a six-speed manual transmission for $24,185 or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters for $25,285.
Regarding the exterior looks, the Elantra GT N Line looks up to a big brother that is not offered in the U.S. market: The i30 GT N (the i30 is the same as the Elantra GT in different markets). It copies its upgrades with a lower front splitter, a silver-accented grille, black side mirrors, and a new rear bumper. Inside, the upgrades include red accent stitching, a sport instrument cluster, a leather N-branded steering wheel, leather sport seats with N badging and red accenting, and an N-branded gearshift.
The Elantra GT N Line will help usher in a new wave of performance vehicles from not only Hyundai, but the Hyundai Motor Group overall. For those who are looking for something a little higher on the Scoville Scale, check out the new Veloster N or the Veloster N TCR.