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Exploring Hyundai’s N Brand – on the Track


Exploring Hyundai’s N Brand – on the Track

Every car company worth its salt has dabbled in Motorsport racing at one time during their lifespan. Racing cars, especially endurance racing, is a great way to progress your R&D and motivate your engineering departments. And when companies do engage in racing their vehicles they often show that off to the world with specialized vehicles. Think Mercedes AMG, BMW M, Ford SVT, Toyota TRD, Fiat Abarth, Audi RS, and a slew of others who might have come and went. Well, that’s what Hyundai is doing today with their relatively new N series of vehicles and in this video, we’re talking about just that. Hyundai recently invited us to trek over to Georgia and have a go in their new N lineup at the track Atlanta Motorsport Park.

So Hyundai’s N brand isn’t just a cute package on top of their existing lineup. These are purpose-built vehicles for the purpose of driving to a track, racing around that track, and then getting you home. These all have more stout engines than other trims in the same model as well as brakes and suspension work for better track experiences.

Even the N logo is designed to look like a track – how cool is that?

So let’s quickly touch on the N brand and the vehicles we have here:

The all-new Elantra N get’s a 2.0L 4 cylinder engine pushing 276 hp and 289 torque with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed DCT. You get unique springs, dampers, stabilizers, and powertrain mounts. You get an N-specific limited-slip diff with an integrated drive axle. You get some 19-inch wheels with Michelin summer tires. Behind the front wheels are 14.2” front rotors and 12.4 in the rear. You get N-tuned steering and chassis reinforcements. Inside you get special performance blue accents stitching, alloy pedals, an N steering wheel, and N light-sport bucket seats.

Next up we have the Kona N, which gets the same upgraded 2.0-liter turbo engine, although this one can only be matched up with the 8-speed DCT. You also get a slew of the same upgrades including suspension, drivetrain, wheels -tires – and brakes, the chassis and steering, some exterior upgrades, and the N interior.

We also drove the Veloster N which was the first N product released so it’s a bit older than these new boys but still held its own during our time driving. We’ll dive more into that soon.

Outside of the N brand you also get the N-Line which adds a lot of the looks and a few upgrades but are meant more as a sporty upgrade than a full-on performance car. You can now get an N-Line in the Sonata, Elantra, Kona, and Tucson. I did a full review on the Sonata N-Line and really loved it – if you want to check that video out later.

The driving – so we did a lot of driving on this trip. We did drive some N-Line models from our hotel in Atlanta to the track and back. We had the opportunity to put the Elantra N and Kona N on the big track at Atlanta Motorsport Park, and we also thrashed the Elantra N, Kona N, and Veloster N around a tight time-attack course.

Now, before y’all start commenting about my impressive driving abilities, I feel it’s fair to let you know I’m no racing driver. I love it, don’t get me wrong and there was a point where I thought I might do more of it… but today, it just isn’t happening. That being said, the Elantra N out on the big track felt so comfortable driving. The long straights and sweeping turns really let you know how good and well-engineered this vehicle really is.

On the time-attack course, we were racing against a time set by one of Hyundai’s racing drivers and although I didn’t get close I was able to improve upon my own time after – let’s say a few – attempts. Here on the time-attack the Elantra felt almost overpowering, the Kona started showing its size but the trusty old Veloster N handled itself perfectly here. This short wheelbase and punchy power really worked well for the tight course. I definitely had a blast.

Overall, I wish we could have spent a lot more time getting individual videos with more details of each car but the nature of the beast is a video full of VoiceOver. I had a great time with Hyundai and loved these new N-branded cars. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to drive some for a little longer and in-depth video but until then I hope you enjoyed this one.

Thanks for watching!

Adam was one of the founding members of txGarage back in 2007 when he worked for a Suzuki dealership in Dallas, TX. He is now our Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He's always been into cars and trucks and has extensive knowledge on both. Check Adam out on twitter @txgarage.

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