When the Hyundai Group employed Albert Biermann, previously chief engineer at BMW’s M efficiency division, and lured him away from Germany in 2015, it turned out to be one of the vital vital hires the corporate has ever made. Biermann went on his personal hiring spree, bringing different BMW executives and engineers over, and has even gone exterior Germany to bag Ford’s Tyrone Johnson, whose final mission was the Focus RS.
And after I obtained Biermann to confess that he was eager about racing a couple of years again, one thing Hyundai had executed on essentially the most restricted foundation within the U.S.—in any case, there may be little or no motorsports heritage available in Korea—it turned out to be vital. Saying that he would solely race what Hyundai sells, Biermann employed Bryan Herta Autosports to supervise the event of a racing program right here for the then-fledgling, now-wonderful Hyundai Veloster N.
And now? Say hey to the Hyundai Elantra N, Hyundai’s first whack at a real efficiency sedan. I slipped behind the wheel of this camouflaged prototype for a too-brief take a look at drive final week, and I can verify the automaker hasn’t screwed it up. Fairly the alternative.
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Prototype, By the Numbers
- Base Value: Not launched
- Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 | eight-speed dual-clutch transmission or six-speed handbook | front-wheel drive
- Horsepower: 275 @ 6,000 rpm
- Torque: 289 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm
- 0-60 mph: 5.Zero seconds (estimated)
- Curb Weight: 2,725 kilos (base Elantra)
- The Promise: An upstart sport sedan that is going racing quickly.
- The Supply: One other efficiency hit from Hyundai.
The N, as you seemingly know, is Hyundai’s equal to the BMW M, advancing just one letter within the alphabet for a reputation.
Herta, the previous IndyCar winner, swiftly assembled a crew for the then-Pirelli World Problem collection’ TCR, or Touring Automobile Racing class, which migrated to America from Europe to provide automobiles just like the Veloster and the Honda Civic a visual place to race. Hyundai received the championship there in 2018, then introduced this system to the much more seen IMSA Michelin Pilot Problem collection, primarily the opening act for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Herta doubled the scale of the crew to 2 automobiles, and has doubled that to 4. A Hyundai received the championship in 2019, and in 2020, with a decisive one-two end final Friday at Sebring Worldwide Raceway.
All that is to say to how severely Hyundai is taking the N model, and the way Biermann and crew are leaving fingerprints throughout Hyundai and Genesis, even extending to Kia, the place they oversaw the creation of the wonderful Kia Stinger sedan. (And there is the brand new Kia K5 GT, which just lately confirmed fairly an upset in opposition to Biermann’s earlier BMW bread-and-butter in an unique instrumented take a look at for The Drive.)
We’ll see an N model of the Tuscon and Kona, Hyundai says, however much more vital, we’ve already seen the brand new Elantra N, coming subsequent yr to a Vendor Close to You. And I’ve spent simply sufficient time within the seat of a camouflaged Elantra N prototype to say it’s going to be an even bigger hit than the marginally oddball Veloster, and deservedly so.
Hyundai says the Elantra N can even be racing in TCR subsequent yr—as in January at Daytona, presumably—however Hyundai additionally stated they haven’t determined whether or not the TCR automobiles will all be Elantras, or a mixture of Elantra N and Veloster N. I am guessing the latter.
Which brings us to you, an individual eager about new automobiles, and why this can be vital: TCR guidelines are tight relating to what number of substantial adjustments you may make to a manufacturing automobile to grow to be a race automobile. You are just about caught with the foremost components the road automobile has. Answer: Put all of the cool stuff, reminiscent of a trick unbiased rear suspension, on the road automobile, and also you get to race it like that. It was clear from my first drive of the Veloster N that Hyundai had constructed it as much as race automobile requirements, and that has confirmed out on the monitor.
The Elantra N looks like what it’s: A much bigger model of the splendidly overbuilt and award-winning Hyundai Veloster N. Not that that’s a nasty factor. In no way.
The world tried to shoehorn the Veloster N into being a competitor for the Honda Civic Si, and in monitor mode, even the Civic Kind R, in addition to the Volkswagen GTI and perhaps even the Subaru WRX. However I belive the bigger, four-door Elantra, new for 2021, is the true competitor.
It has primarily the identical powertrain because the 2021 Veloster N, together with the brand new twin wet-clutch, eight-speed automated transmission that responds very nicely to paddle-shifting, the digital limited-slip differential and the two.0-liter, 275-horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which can or might not have a bit extra horsepower when it hits the showroom. A six-speed handbook can also be an choice.
The usual 250-horsepower model of the Veloster N’s powertrain is gone as a result of all people needed that additional 25 horsepower, offered principally by a warmer tune to the digital management module.
As with the Veloster N, Hyundai’s aim is to offer a real monitor automobile on the contact of a button that may undergo a tank of gas on the circuit with out a downside. Don’t count on the Veloster N’s EPA-rated MPG whenever you’re doing it, although, of 20 metropolis/27 freeway/22 mixed mpg for the DCT transmission. That’s three MPG much less mixed than the six-speed handbook will get.
The dealing with, particularly in monitor mode, is excellent. It’s undoubtedly just a little heavier than the Veloster N’s no-lightweight 3,247 lbs, and it’s longer, as the brand new 2021 Elantra has a wheelbase that’s 107.1 inches, in comparison with the Veloster N’s 104.3-inch wheelbase. Because the photographs present, there’s a practical rear spoiler, and tires are sticky Pirelli P Zero summer season tread, 235/35-19s.
Additionally, don’t evaluate the Elantra N with the Elantra N Line, which certainly can also be turbocharged, and supplied with a six-speed handbook, however is form of N Mild with simply 201 horsepower, 54 greater than the bottom Elantra. The excellent news, although: You possibly can order an N Line now. Hyundai has confirmed an N model for the Kona, however it isn’t for certain once we’ll get it within the U.S.
The Veloster N’s beginning value is $32,250, excluding freight. We’re anticipating a value for the Elantra N that’s within the $35,000 neighborhood, a spot I might very very similar to to go to.
And search for the Elantra N on an IMSA race monitor subsequent season. I am not betting in opposition to it, or its godfather, Herta, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner because the automobile proprietor. Up to now, he and his crew is three for 3. You in all probability have not thought a lot concerning the Elantra shortly, and also you actually have not equated that title with “efficiency” or “motorsports,” however that is all seemingly about to alter.
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