The Hyundai i30 Sedan N, or Elantra N or Avante N as it’s also known, is set to get a heart transplant.
“Technically, we are ready to continue [with internal-combustion N cars],” said executive technical advisor Albert Biermann.
“Before I left Namyang, I made sure the Elantra can go on with the 2.5 turbo. It fits in there and everything.
“Australia is safe, US is safe, but someone needs to make a decision, right? And markets other than Australia, forget them. They’re all dreaming on the EV cloud, EV heaven, they don’t care for combustion cars.”
The i30 Sedan isn’t offered in any Western European markets, though the i30 N can be had in hatchback or liftback variants on the continent. These models feature older underpinnings, and aren’t offered in markets like Korea and North America.
“I think within this year there will be a decision if we continue next-generation Elantra with an N or not, technically it’s possible,” said Mr Biermann.
“With a 2.5-litre turbo with the stricter emission regulations, I think we can still have some good level of power, maybe same level like today, but that engine first needs the N treatment.”
Unlike Hyundai’s N Line vehicles, its N cars are designed to be driven on the track as well as on the street. As Mr Biermann suggests, the 2.5-litre engine may need to be tweaked, with possible changes to cooling.
Hyundai’s turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine currently produces 213kW of power and 422Nm of torque in the Sonata N Line.
That’s 7kW and 29Nm more than the turbocharged 2.0-litre four found under the bonnet of the current i30 Sedan N.
Both engines are mated with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, though the i30 N is also offered with a standard six-speed manual.
Mr Biermann didn’t indicate when the 2.5-litre would find its way into the i30 Sedan N. It’s also unclear whether a manual transmission would be offered, though most Hyundai N cars bar the electric Ioniq 5 N and short-lived Kona N have offered a three-pedal option.
The current-generation Hyundai i30 Sedan/Elantra/Avante entered production in 2020, with the hot N revealed in 2021 and reaching our shores in December of that year.
A facelifted version was revealed earlier this year, and will reach Australia during the first quarter of 2024.