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The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Could Have 1 Expensive Flaw

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N is the brand’s newest sports sedan. It is safe to say the brand is on a roll with the release of the Hyundai Palisade, Tucson, and Santa Fe. Today we’re focusing on their sporty efforts with the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Prototype. Early tests reveal that the 276-hp Elantra N is poised to live up to the hype. Despite this, Motor1‘s first drive of the prototype reveals that a potentially high starting price and low-quality interior materials could easily result in one expensive flaw.

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N has 276 hp and a dual-clutch transmission

A photo of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N at a track.
2021 Hyundai Elantra N Prototype | Hyundai

The excitement for the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N begins with you read its stats on paper. Under the hood lives a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine developing 276 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque. Although all of the power goes to the front wheels, buyers can choose between a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

The rest of the Elantra N isn’t just standard Elantra, either. Motor1 reports that a multi-link suspension and stiffer springs serve to make the best use of the chassis’ capabilities. To slow things down, Motor1 reports that the Elantra N gets 13.6-inch brake rotors up front and 12.4-inch rotors in the rear. If the recipe sounds familiar, that’s because it’s similar to what we got in the highly capable Veloster N, albeit in a sedan body style.

The Elantra N should start around $33,000

A photo of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N at a track.
2021 Hyundai Elantra N Prototype | Hyundai

RELATED: Is the 2021 Hyundai Palisade Worth the Extra Cash Over a Hyundai Santa Fe?

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N could potentially have one costly flaw, its interior. Although it is in prototype form, Motor1 reports that the quality of interior materials felt quite low. Aside from having a cheap appearance, Motor1 noted that the points you touch around the cabin were almost all hard plastics. Despite being in the prototype phase, there is no indication that these materials will change for the production model. One major reason is that they are quite similar to what you find in the standard 2021 Hyundai Elantra.

Although these flaws would be forgivable in a cheap economy car, Motor1 projects that the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N will have a starting price of around $33,000. The high base price seems likely considering the Veloster N’s $32,250 base price. At this price point, we should see higher-quality materials. One likely option is that higher quality materials will be available as optional extras. Regardless, the Hyundai Elantra N seems to serve performance above all else.

The Elantra N should live up to the hype

A photo of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N at a track.
2021 Hyundai Elantra N Prototype | Hyundai

Thankfully, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N’s performance-oriented nature pays off big time. According to Motor1, the dual-clutch-equipped prototype it drove was seriously impressive. For starters, Motor1 noted that the sporty driving modes allow the dual-clutch transmission to keep the engine in its ideal powerband, making the Elantra feel quite quick. Motor1 noted that boost starts strong and 2,500 rpm and varies all the way to 6,000 rpm. In this regard, the Elantra N won’t be a high-revving performer. Instead, it should offer plenty of strong shove at lower rpms.

Motor1 got a chance to drive the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N up some twisty roads as well. It was there that Motor1 noticed the Elantra’s limited-slip differential and sticky tires come alive. Although there is mild understeer at the limit, it takes significant speed to reach it. Thankfully, the adaptive dampers can tighten up for sporty driving and soften up for regular commuting.

As a result, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra N should be a competent sports sedan and an excellent daily driver. It is worth noting, however, that you might be giving up interior quality to have it.