We're continually blown away by what the South Korean brands are doing. It seems they're rolling out some of the best vehicles on the market today (okay, so we're not that jazzed about the Hyundai Venue). They also seem to make more mid- and early-cycle tweaks than other carmakers to improve the looks and tech in their vehicles. The latest dramatic reveal is its sexy seventh-generation Elantra with the sporty N Line trim. Just take a look at how edgy and aggressive it looks, starting with the lead image above. Then, just take a look at how far this sedan has come since its first-generation car (1990-1995) as shown below:
Since then, the Elantra has seen six generations of the compact sedan, and it's evolved into something that's actually more feature-packed and more attractive than similar cars offered by the Japanese (Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra), and American automakers don't even make compact sedans anymore (the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus sedan, and the Dodge Dart are gone). The new Elantra is easily the most attractive compact sedan made, perhaps with the exception of the Mazda3. But we'd dare say the Elantra's exterior beats the 3. It would be almost impossible to beat the Mazda3's rich, upscale interior.
So, how does the N Line set itself apart from the regular next-gen 2021 Elantra? Well, if you know anything about the N designation, it means it's performance-leaning. While not a true "N" car in the same way the Veloster N is (upgraded engine, suspension), in the case of the Elantra N Line it means largely aesthetic changes to the vehicle.
The Elantra N Line differs from the standard Elantra sedan thanks to a blackened grille with a different large mesh pattern that's specific to the model. If you look at the intakes on the outer lower fascia, you'll see that three inward-pointing chevrons have replaced the standard model's more open design. We're not 100% sure, but in these renderings, it appears the outer hood creases might be a bit more pronounced.
The body receives gloss black trim around the windows and on the side mirror caps. Not much needed to be done to the sinewy and angular Y-shaped body creases that make the new Elantra so distinct. The rear shows off the standard Elantra shapes, but the addition of a diffuser, twin tailpipes, and a thin lip spoiler on the trunk add a bit more sportiness to the back end. It also looks like the thin reflectors are elongated, and then there's the black "H" badge instead of a chrome version.
There are no new renderings of the N Line's interior, but we expect it to be sportier in terms of materials and coloring with perhaps some red contrast stitching inside on the shifter, steering wheel, and the seats. Perhaps even an N Line gauge cluster and a logoed shift knob.
It's likely the new Elantra N Line will get the same 201-horsepower from the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the current model. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters will probably remain, as well. There's no word on whether or not the N Line will be blessed with a manual transmission, but we're not holding our breath. The existing standard Elantra lost its manual transmission last year, and all non-Sport trims have a CVT to benefit gas mileage.
In order to provide an improved sporty driving experience, the Elantra N LIne will also get a better suspension, but nothing has been specified. We're guessing the N Line will benefit from an independent, multi-link rear suspension, which should help in terms of ride and handling.
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line will be fully revealed this summer, and it will go on sale this fall. Along with this car, the Venue and the Kona crossovers should also get an N Line variant, which goes to show that Hyundai cares about enthusiasts without trying to drain their wallets. We're just glad they still care about sedans, too.