While we recently mourned the loss of the Honda Fit and Civic Coupe, we are also sad that the Honda Civic Si is also being discontinued. We’ll miss its striking good looks, athletic handling prowess, and turbocharged rev-happy engine, but can anything replace it? Can any other car on the market give drivers the same economical boy-racer thrill that the Civic Si did for years? Possibly. And it looks like the Hyundai Elantra N Line could be looking to fill the void.
What we know about the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line so far
Aside from the Veloster N, Hyundai hasn’t always been known for producing the sportiest products, however, the Elantra N Line could prove us wrong. The automaker is being coy on the performance and engine details for now, but they did recently release some teaser images along with a little more information. The images show a more aggressive profile and overall look for the 2021 Elantra sedan as the N Line package adds larger 18-inch wheels, two front air intake ducts, and gloss black accents.
The side mirrors, window accents, and added side skirts are all blacked out and there’s a more pronounced rear diffuser and a twin-tip, dual-exit exhaust. According to Hyundai, larger brakes will also be included, however, we have no word yet on what kind of power it will produce.
Power is important if the Elantra N Line will replace the Civic Si
While you can never really replace a legend like the Honda Civic Si with almost any car from any other automaker, you can definitely come close. The Hyundai Elantra N Line does show some promise based on these teaser images, but the real proof will lie under the hood. From what we can tell, the larger brakes and more aggressive stance should mean that the Elantra N Line will provide some of the same sporting characteristics as its popular Veloster N sibling, but it will need a similar type of power output to win enthusiasts over.
While we can’t expect the Elantra N Line to have the same 275-horsepower turbo four-cylinder engine as the high-velocity Veloster, we do have a sneaking suspicion that it Hyundai might give it a similar powerplant to another car in the lineup. Our best guess so far is that the same turbo 1.6-liter engine that powers the current Kia Forte GT could be a worthy inclusion consider it produces 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Keeping in mind that the 2020 Honda Civic Si makes 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft, we don’t think that the Forte GT engine in the Elantra N Line would be too far off.
There’s more to real sport compact car than power and handling
While agile handling and responsive power is important in making a true sport compact sedan like the Civic Si, pricing is important as well. The soon-to-be-dead Civic Si is currently retailing for around $25,000 and we suspect that the top-trim 2021 Elantra will cost around the same, as does Car and Driver.
However, if that’s the case, then the Elantra N Line will likely start at around $26,000 or $27,000, which is probably the borderline price for what consumers would want to pay for this level of performance. It’s all speculation until more details are released, but for now, the Hyundai Elantra N Line looks like it could be a decent substitute for the Honda Civic Si.