Hyundai has revealed an all-new Elantra N TCR race car—and also previewed the Elantra N performance street car, to boot. The TCR (for Touring Car Racing) is the latest in a budding line of TCR customer race cars released by Hyundai, following the $155,000 Veloster N TCR and the Euro-market i30 TCR hatchbacks. (VW, Honda, and Mazda are among the automakers also offering TCR racers based on production cars.) You could spring for the winged, caged, and wild-lookin’ Elantra N TCR if you’re a racing team, but let’s get real: It’s highly likely the car it’s based on is of greater relevance to you, and the TCR reveals several key clues about the upcoming Elantra N.
Chief among those juicy details? That the TCR race car is “front-wheel drive and is powered by a two-liter turbocharged engine derived from a brand-new base engine taken from Hyundai’s family of roadgoing models. The car will share the same six-speed, paddle-shift operated gearbox as the other Hyundai TCR designs…” A spicy 2.0-liter, turbocharged four in an Elantra? Currently, the 2021 Elantra lineup’s most powerful engine is the 201-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder in the Elantra N Line—the sporty sedan that ultimately will sit below the full-blown, higher-performance Elantra N. The N likely won’t look quite as insane as the TCR racer, but you can expect it to be more purposefully styled than the handsome but fairly tame N Line.
The Elantra N will join the Veloster N in Hyundai’s expanding performance-car lineup. Hyundai also is working on a wild, standalone N model not entirely based on a regular Hyundai: The mid-engine Veloster N RM19. The Ns are more thoroughly performance-prepped than the N Line trim level found on the Elantra, Sonata, and other recently or soon-to-be-redesigned Hyundais such as the new Tucson SUV.
Power figures for the new 2.0-liter engine are for now a mystery, but we can expect greater than the 201 ponies served up by the 1.6-liter Elantra N Line. (Timing for the new Elantra N is also forthcoming.) We also can look forward to an aggressive exhaust note. In a video hawking the new Elantra N TCR, Hyundai included a brief glimpse of a camouflaged Elantra N driving out of a garage. The engine note is all growly, and there are even some pops and cracks from the exhaust as the driver lifts off the gas. Surprisingly, the sounds seem angrier than those in the fairly loud Veloster N street car—until now the rowdiest-sounding Hyundai on sale. Watch for yourself below; the relevant Elantra N bit starts around the 1:00 mark.