Hyundai's most popular car in the U.S. — the Elantra — is getting more performance chops.
Hyundai is previewing the upcoming N Line trim of the seventh-generation compact sedan that debuted in regular gasoline and hybrid versions in mid-March.
The N Line version "adds N brand specific design elements, chassis upgrades and a turbocharged engine to the recently revealed 2021 Elantra," Hyundai said. The redesigned Elantra is slated to go on sale in the fourth quarter.
The 2021 model, which is longer and lower than the previous generation, carries a black-and-white camouflage wrap in the teaser images of the N Line prototype released Monday. A brief video shows the sedan being driven on a closed course.
The current-generation Elantra GT N Line hatchback comes with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine making 201 hp. It's mated to a six-speed manual transmission and available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The current Elantra sedan is not offered in N Line trim, but its Sport trim matches the N Line hatchback's motor and gearbox.
Since the N Line trim is meant to be sporty but also a step below the track-ready N performance trim, Hyundai may carry over the mildly sporty approach to the new-gen Elantra N Line, or it may up the ante.
For example, the N Line version of the redesigned Sonata midsize sedan will receive both a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and a new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine with at least 290 hp when it goes on sale this year, according to Hyundai.
The automaker also has the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine it slots in the Veloster N hatchback, producing up to 275 hp. So Hyundai has a variety of parts that could make their way into the 2021 Elantra N Line to make it hotter than the current Sport. Or the Korean brand could save those for a rumored track-ready Elantra N performance trim — if that's in the cards.