Hyundai has done a fantastic job with the all-new 2022 Elantra N. Right out of the box, you get a sedan that’s fast, cool, and equipped with all sorts of goodies like an active exhaust. It competes with the VW Jetta GLI and Subaru WRX. But did you ever think that the Elantra N would find a rival in the Honda Accord 2.0T?
I certainly expected this shootout. The Accord 2.0T has been a surprising hero of the affordable sedan scene. It doesn’t have wings or spoilers, and its engine technically produces less power than the Honda Civic Type R. But in most drag races, it’s proven shockingly fast.
There are two reasons for this. First, the 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo engine probably produces way more power than the advertised 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. And second, the 10-speed automatic gearbox is somehow super-quick off the line, even though that’s not what it was designed for.
On the other hand, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N has all the on-paper advantages. It too features a turbocharged 2.0-liter. However, the output is noticeably higher at 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. Plus, it gets an overboost feature called “N Grin Shift” which gives you an extra 10 horsepower for 20 seconds when you push the big button on the steering wheel.
To make things fair, the Elantra N is equipped with the DCT gearbox option in this race. That gives it access to launch control. And before you call a foul because it’s optional, know that the Accord is still about $1,100 more expensive.
The race conditions
Most of the best Accord 2.0T drag race videos were shot by Canadians. And while this one is by Throttle House, which is half-Canadian, it was actually shot at Willow Springs. The conditions aren’t identical to a drag strip, but they should favor any car in particular.
So what exactly happens? Well, the Accord is the one that gets a better launch. But towards the end of the race, the superior sports engine of the Elantra N begins to pull it ahead, and it eventually wins by a car’s length. But as the guys point out, the Honda shouldn’t be this fast.
However, the rolling race reveals just how fast the Hyundai N mode really is. This Korean sports sedan pulls away strongly, which suggests the launch control system isn’t doing a good job from a dig.
If you’re interested in the Elantra N now, check out what it can do against the latest Subaru WRX.