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Detroit — Hyundai Motor Co. has recalibrated its sporty trim for an even stiffer ride on its Elantra GT.

The Korean automaker on Monday debuted its first N Line model in the United States with the promise of more to come. The 2019 Elantra GT N Line replaces the 2018 Elantra GT Sport with newly tuned shocks and steering.

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It is geared toward millennials who are looking for expression and performance, said Micheal O'Brien, vice president of product, corporate and digital planning at Hyundai North America. It's also a signal the automaker has no plans to leave the sedan space.

"We’re still all-in," O'Brien said. "They’re still our core-volume products. ... We already feel we're at the right size now. "

The four-door compact hatchback’s N Line model that was unveiled at the Detroit auto show is one notch below Hyundai’s top-of-the-line N product portfolio that includes the Veloster N, i30N and i30 Fastback N. From them, it borrows features such as a lower front spoiler, blacked-out side mirrors with turn signals and a bumper that accentuates the N theme.

Other elements are unique to the N Line trim, including a different version of Hyundai’s cascading grille with a silver character line and other N Line badging. The 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged-GDI engine model with six-speed manual transmission comes shod with Michelin Pilot Sport tires on 18-inch wheels. A seven-speed dual clutch transmission with larger steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters is available as an option.

Heated leather sport seats come standard and feature the N logo. Red stitching and accents differentiate the N Line model from the standard Elantra GT.

The Elantra GT N Line has multi-link independent rear suspension with larger front and rear brake rotors. Like the Sport trim, the vehicle produces 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

A technology package offers an eight-inch screen with Hyundai’s 5.0 AVN infotainment system with navigation. Safety features include forward-collision avoidance assist, lane-keep assist and driver-attention warning.

The 2019 Elantra GT and Elantra GT N Line are on sale now for $20,540 and $23,300 respectively.

Also extending its customer motorsports program, Hyundai unveiled the 350-horsepower Veloster N RCT. The racecar will be operated by Bryan Herta Autosport next week at the 2019 International Motor Sports Association Michelin Pilot Challenge. It will face the Honda Civic Type R TCR, Volkswagen GTI TCR and the Audi RS3 LMS TCR.

The two suped-up Velosters are Hyundai's second venture into racing after it won the TCR class team and manufacturing championships last year at the Pirelli World Challenge with the i30 N TCR.

"It's got the same platform as last year's championship-winning car," Herta said, "with a number of incremental tweaks and upgrades that will make it even faster."

bnoble@detroitnews.com

 

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