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CONFIRMED! 2021 Hyundai i30 sedan N coming as South Korean rival to Subaru WRX and Skoda Octavia RS

The Hyundai Elantra/i30 sedan N might be heavily cloaked in camouflage, but it will likely be powered by a 206kW/392Nm engine.

Hyundai has confirmed the existence of a flagship Elantra N, which could come to Australia as the i30 sedan N to compete against the likes of the Subaru WRX and Skoda Octavia RS.

Shown very briefly at the end of a video announcing the Elantra N TCR race car, the single shot of the road-going version shows a model heavily covered in camouflage, but nonetheless confirms Hyundai’s next sporty offering.

Officially, the four-door i30 line-up is topped by the N Line model, but given the Elantra is brought Down Under as the i30 sedan, the go-fast variant could be starter for local showrooms as a replacement to the go-fast Fastback.

Hyundai Australia offers just the single N variant for its i30 Fastback body style, which means the brand could consolidate its four-door small-car line-up with the i30 sedan N as a flagship to the standard range hitting showrooms later this year.

The i30 sedan N Line is a sharply designed bit of kit, with a number of styling differences compared with the standard i30 sedan range. The i30 sedan N Line is a sharply designed bit of kit, with a number of styling differences compared with the standard i30 sedan range.

What is known though, is the Elantra N will make its way to the sedan-hungry US to bolster Hyundai’s N range, which currently only counts the Veloster in its stable.

However, it is unclear if right-hand-drive production is possible – or even justified at this stage – as the Veloster N remains a left-hand-drive-only proposition, but it is known that Hyundai Australia is looking to expand its N offerings with the all-but-officially-confirmed Kona N small crossover and rumoured Tucson N mid-size SUV.

Based on the same small-car underpinnings as the i30 N, the Elantra/i30 sedan N will likely score the same 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, which has now been tuned to 206kW/392Nm for the 2021 model year.

A six-speed manual gearbox was the sole transmission choice before, but the facelifted i30 N will introduce an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, though it remains unclear if the Elantra N will offer both.

Drive is also expected to be sent to the front axle only, like the hatchback, but Hyundai’s sporty small sedan will like up against the likes of the all-paw 197kW/350Nm Subaru WRX and incoming new-generation 180kW/370Nm Skoda Octavia RS due in early 2021.

For reference, the i30 sedan N Line is fitted with a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine good for 150kW/265Nm, paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

As for styling, expect to see the full-fat i30 sedan N adhere closely to the aesthetics of the N Line, with a road-hugging body kit, prominent rear spoiler and dual exhaust outlets.