2021.04.30 Hyundai Motor Company 분량11min
Cars are getting stronger day by day. Not only sports cars, but also sedans are showing far superior performance than in the past. The same is true for Hyundai Motors All-New Avante(Elantra) N Line. The Avante N Line is a model that adds a sporty driving sensibility inspired by the high-performance brand N and aggressive interior and exterior design on top of the solid base of the 7th generation Avante. This made it the sportiest C-segment sedan in Hyundai's history.
In fact, the history of Hyundai Motor's high-performance C-segment sedan began more than 30 years ago. Avante's predecessor 'Elantra', launched in 1990, can be said to be the beginning. At the time of its debut, Elantra, which continues its reputation as an export name of Avante, received a lot of attention as a high-performance C-segment sedan. It was also used as a family car due to its practicality. For this reason, many people still remember Elantra as a high-performance family sedan. The same is true of Youn Hyun-soo, a 30-year-old young man who drove the Avante N line today. For him, who takes great care of the 1995 Elantra, the car not only reminds him of his first family car but also allows him to fully enjoy sports driving.
Youn Hyun-Soo, who has been riding Elantra for six years, is an automobile enthusiast who is recognized by everyone around him. He is currently working on motorcycles. Thanks to this, he often enjoys exhilarating driving in both cars and motorcycles in his daily life.
“I've been riding a motorcycle since 2008. It's been 13 years. The charm of a motorcycle, I think, is that it has a lot to manipulate. Rather than getting help from mechanical or electronic equipment, the driver must actively intervene. I also love the harsh sensation and sound that only a small engine can produce.”
Some people find it a bit strange that he, who enjoys the speed and excitement, owns a car that has been around for 30 years. But there is a decisive reason he bought Elantra-it was Elantra that made him remember his childhood and family. Most of the childhood memories that come to mind when thinking of cars are related to Elantra. For him, Elantra is more than a car.
“When I was in the rear or passenger seat as a child, the feeling that I wanted to drive my own car seems to have made me buy Elantra and come to this day. I met my Elantra while I was in military service. I found a used car in good condition and bought it while I was on vacation. I remember that my family was very surprised to see that I bought Elantra again, which we used to have 10 years ago. Of course, because I was a soldier, I only kept it at home until the day I was discharged.”
He bought Elantra because he didn't want to forget his family memories, but he also says Elantra suits his tastes. It's as intuitive as a motorcycle, it's easy to handle, and it's fun to operate. The actual Elantra is smaller and lighter than today's C-segment models. So, even if this car lacks a little power, the body moves lightly.
“Driving Elantra feels like riding a small, lightweight motorcycle. I can control the car the way I want. I especially enjoy the low and medium speed. The feeling of going around the corner is also great. When I drive Elantra, it feels like 'the car and I become one', which is a common expression when you read about the sports car test drive.”
In addition, Yoon Hyun-soo's Elantra is a 5-speed manual transmission model with a good direct connection. The automatic transmission of modern cars performs better than the manual transmission, but it cannot replace the feel of a manual transmission. Hyun-Soo Yoon is enjoying the fun of Elantra in that he can control the body at will as well as the feeling of maneuvering.
“Suspension and tires have been fixed a bit. The appearance right after delivery is also important, but I needed some tuning to suit my taste. I also enjoy this process. The motorcycle is also fun to adjust here and there depending on each rider. It feels similar to that.”
Yoon Hyun-soo does not drive Elantra often. He dxoesn't even drive long distances. The total mileage recorded for 6 years of ownership is not more than 10,000 km. But on driving days, he spends plenty of time to fully enjoy the fun of Elantra. Care is also very meticulous. Self-cleaning after driving is standard. Car washing for 1 to 2 hours became a routine for him.
Old parts are replaced whenever new parts are available to keep them in top condition. It is because of his efforts and devotion that Yoon Hyun-soo's Elantra is in such good condition that you do not think that it is a car that is nearly 30 years old.
“When I first brought the car, it wasn't in perfect condition. So I decided to restore it over time. It's been 6 years since I bought it, and now I've completed 80% of the target value. Thanks to these efforts, my car hasn't had a big problem so far. Departing to Donghae, Gangwon-do was the only long-distance trip I had with Elantra, but I was very grateful that there were no problems at that time. Since that day, more efforts have been put into the restoration.”
Youn Hyun-soo is also an old car enthusiast who likes old cars as much as he enjoys speed. Of course, he also loves the legendary high-performance old cars. The reason he loves old cars is simple: because of his admiration for the design and exhaust sounds that can only be found in old cars.
“In terms of power and safety, of course, cars on the market these days are much better. But to me, the novel designs of old cars that were not bound by various regulations and various ideas to improve performance are more impressive. Certainly, old cars have a different charm than cars these days.”
So, what kind of car is the Avante N Line from the perspective of the owner of Elantra, the beginning of Hyundai Motor's high-performance sedan? After comparing the two models at once, he says, he feels that the Avante has really improved a lot.
“What stands out most is the development of convenience features. In particular, thanks to the infotainment system, there are so many things to do in the car. This is my first time using Highway Driving Assistance (HDA) and Smart Cruise Control, and it was novel and convenient. The sports seats for the N-line hold the body well and even support seat ventilation; I really wanted to take it off and steal it.”
The most distinctive feature of the Avante N line he feels is also its strong driving performance. Despite the slightly larger and heavier bodywork, the Avante N Line offers a light driving sensation and excellent driving fun. Youn Hyun-soo believes this is the most attractive thing to feel when buying the Avante N Line.
“Everything is impressive. It is most surprising that the overflowing power at low speeds does not decrease at high speeds, but continues as it is. The maximum output is 204 horsepower, but it actually feels stronger than that. I also like the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is as fun as the manual transmission. The intense, but not excessive exhaust sound keeps lingering in my ears. Most of all, I like the fact that the Avante N Line aims for high performance and is not too much for everyday life.”
After riding the two cars in turn, Yoon Hyun-soo talked about what the two cars have in common. “Young people like and want to drive both cars. I don't have clear memories of my childhood, but I heard that Elantra was very popular when it was released. Avante has also gained great popularity among young people from its debut to the present 7th generation. Another thing in common is that both cars compete in the race. Like Elantra, who won the Australian Rally in the early 1990s, Avante is known to be participating in the 2021 Season TCR under the name Elantra N TCR. I am not participating in the competition, but the fact that there will be a race car identical to my car makes my heart flutter and cheer. I look forward to Avante, and Elantra, the export name of Avante, to continue to play an active part as a C-segment car representing South Korea.”
Photography by Jinho Choi
Model Youn Hyun-soo