Hyundai N: A Review of the 2023 Performance Car Series

Hyundai has firmly established itself in the high-performance automotive sector with its N series, pushing the boundaries of what enthusiasts can expect from a mainstream automaker. The 2023 lineup of Hyundai’s performance-oriented N models continues this legacy, introducing enhanced features, impressive engineering upgrades, and a focus on driving pleasure. This review delves into the specifics of the 2023 models, offering a comprehensive look at their capabilities, features, and overall value to the driving enthusiast.

Introduction to Hyundai N Series

The N series is Hyundai’s performance sub-brand, which first made headlines with the launch of the i30 N in 2017. It brought fresh air to the performance car segment by offering high-end sports capabilities at a relatively affordable price point. The “N” stands for Namyang, Hyundai’s global R&D center in South Korea, and also for the Nürburgring, one of the most challenging race tracks in the world, where much of the N series’ testing and refinement takes place.

The 2023 N Series Lineup

For 2023, Hyundai has expanded the N series to include various models, each tailored to meet the demands of different types of drivers and enthusiasts. Key models include the i20 N, i30 N, Kona N, and the Elantra N, all designed with specific enhancements to harness maximum performance from their respective platforms.

i20 N: Compact Powerhouse

The 2023 Hyundai i20 N is a dynamic entry into the world of hot hatches, boasting a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 204 horsepower and 275 Nm of torque. Paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, this compact powerhouse can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 6.7 seconds, making it a thrilling ride for those who enjoy spirited driving sessions. It also features a sports-tuned suspension, larger brakes, and a performance-oriented electronic stability control system.

i30 N: Balancing Comfort and Agility

The i30 N has been a staple of Hyundai’s performance lineup and continues to impress in its 2023 iteration. The vehicle features a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces up to 280 horsepower and 392 Nm of torque, coupled with an option of a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. The i30 N is adept at balancing day-to-day comfort with aggressive, track-ready dynamics. Notable enhancements for 2023 include lightweight forged wheels, an electronically controlled suspension, and an array of driving modes that cater to various driving environments and preferences.

Kona N: Performance in a Compact SUV

The Kona N stands out by merging SUV versatility with the agility of a sports car. The 2023 model is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo engine, similar to the i30 N, delivering 280 horsepower and 392 Nm of torque. It also features an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission that offers sharp and responsive shifting. This model is exceptional not just for its performance but for maintaining functionality, with ample space and comfort features that make it suitable for everyday use as well as occasional track day outings.

Elantra N: Sedan with a Sporty Edge

The Elantra N is Hyundai’s answer to those who crave a performance sedan that doesn’t compromise on style or practicality. It packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that churns out 276 horsepower and 392 Nm of torque. The integration of performance gear such as a variable exhaust valve system, an N Corner Carving Differential, and sporty chassis tuning makes the Elantra N a formidable player in its class. Furthermore, its striking design and enhanced aerodynamics not only aid performance but also ensure that it looks as fast as it drives.

Technology and Safety Features

Hyundai’s 2023 N models not only excel in performance but are also equipped with advanced technology and safety features. This includes modern infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Hyundai’s SmartSense safety package, and high-performance data logging capabilities, allowing drivers to monitor and record various driving parameters for further improvement. These features demonstrate Hyundai’s commitment to offering a comprehensive package that prioritizes both thrilling drive experiences and everyday usability.


The Hyundai N series in 2023 solidifies its position as a go-to choice for driving purists and those new to the performance car segment. With a broadened lineup catering to diverse preferences and needs, Hyundai continues to deliver outstanding value without skimping on performance or features. Whether it’s the agile i20 N, the balanced i30 N, the versatile Kona N, or the striking Elantra N, each model upholds the principles of the N series: to push the limits of what a performance car can be, regardless of body type or size.

By consistently investing in and refining the N series, Hyundai not only boosts its credibility among car enthusiasts but also challenges the norms of the performance car market. Going beyond mere power figures, the 2023 N series focuses on delivering a comprehensive, exhilarating driving experience that few can match at this price point.