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Hyundai Elantra N and Kona N of 2022: a test ride | Road tests

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Hyundai Kona N and Elantra N

Hyundai Kona N and Elantra N

Auto123 gives you a test drive of the two sharpest new Hyundai’s of the moment. We recently drove the Elantra N and Kona N at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

See also: A fun day with the Hyundai team (since 2013!)

Bowmanville, IN – Like any manufacturer these days, Hyundai sees its future electrified. Of course, the term “future” isn’t entirely accurate – their popular electric Ioniq 5 is already on our roads.

However, Hyundai is far from forgetting internal combustion by competing in top-tier races and continuing to deliver affordable performance models designed primarily for driving pleasure, even if electrification and autonomous driving are on everyone’s lips.

Although racing and performance Hyundai are each a slightly different breed, they both fall under the N flag and Hyundai is adamant that the N brand will be a pillar in its portfolio going forward, as will the Ioniq range.

To show us what it is, Hyundai Canada had reserved the CTMP complex (for Canadian Tire Motorsports Park or “Mosport” for insiders) on the outskirts of Toronto, and let us go wild at the wheel of the last two N-branded models: Elantra Sedan N (MSRP: $ 39,653) and Kona N compact crossover (MSRP: $ 42,554).

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driving instructors

driving instructors

Finally, “dropped” is perhaps an exaggeration, since each of us has been paired with an experienced driving instructor. Just a ride with one of them will show you how far – or close – you can get to the circuit.

Both are powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that develops 276 horsepower and 289 Nm of torque. One of them can be equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, the other only with this automated option. You can probably guess which one it is judging by their body style, but if not, I’ll say this: despite all their differences on the surface, they are somewhat similar on the bottom.

They both get all kinds of special body additions that their big brothers, including the N-Line variants of each model, don’t get. The Elantra N is the only model in the line to receive two very large tailpipes and a large rear spoiler, while the Kona N receives its own wing, special 19-inch wheels and a host of other exterior trim elements to differentiate it. from other Kona models.

Hyundai Elantra N, interior

Hyundai Elantra N, interior

Inside each model, you’ll find dusty blue accents – that color is the N brand’s calling card – like dual drive mode selector buttons, seat stitching, and gear lever details. The Elantra N features very snug sports seats that hug the ribs like they would in a real sports car. The seats on the Kona are a little less aggressive, but they are an improvement over the regular models. And when you walk a path like this, you need all the help you can get.

Hyundai Elantra N, tire

Speaking of help, one of the main differences between the two models is the choice of tires. Elantra’s summer Michelins are much more compelling than Kona’s four-season Pirelli’s. This goes without saying, because with its all-wheel drive and family-friendly body style, the Kona, even with the N trim, is the one most likely to be driven in tough conditions.

On the track, these tires, coupled with the Kona’s higher center of gravity, mean you’ll have more roll when cornering, and because you’re sitting higher than the Elantra, handling will be less impressive than the sedan.

At Kona N, on the track

It turns out, however, that there are many things you can do as a pilot to offset these effects, or even use them to your advantage. Not to mention the 4WD system, which can distribute power and help you stabilize and get out of certain situations.

The Mosport track is a fast track with many gradients and long, multi-lane hairpin bends that test the limits of any car. Ask a race car driver and he’ll tell you that some of the downhill corners are, in fact, some of the most intimidating corners in North America.

In the Kona, this means that if you miss your pinnacle and are forced to adjust the steering or apply the brakes when cornering, the suspension height and super sharp steering rack will cause the frame to become unbalanced and lead to dagger-drawn scenarios. .

At Kona N, on the track, fig.  2

At Kona N, on the track, fig. 2

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