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The Friday Five:The Performance Elantra, Hummer EV Non-Reveal, and Plug-in A6 Wagon Edition

Beverly Braga | May 01, 2020

This past week, we’ve reported about the latest Hyundai Sonata crash-test ratings, the dashing of Audi’s Level 3 autonomous driving hopes, and Lincoln’s cancelation of a Rivian-based EV.

But that’s not everything that was happening in the automotive space.

Hyundai Teases New Elantra N Line Performance Model

Unveiled just last month, the all-new 2021 Hyundai Elantra is already getting an upgrade. The automaker previewed the redesigned 2021 Elantra in N Line form via a sneak peek video and teaser images. Currently, only the Elantra GT hatchback is offered in N Line garb.

2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line Sedan Disguised

N (for Nurburgring) is Hyundai’s high-performance sub-brand, and debuted on the 2019 Veloster N. Vehicles with an N Line designation fall just beneath the track day-prowess of an N vehicle, but the trim will still give owners more than just sport-inspired design elements. The Elantra N Line also will receive chassis upgrades and a turbocharged engine.

No further specifications were provided but the current-model Elantra GT N Line is equipped with a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Expect more details when the 2021 Elantra lineup arrives in showrooms this fall.

New Details Emerge for Redesigned BMW 4 Series Coupe

Munich has released more details of the upcoming 2021 BMW 4 Series coupe. In its final phases of dynamic testing, the redesigned two-door is even further differentiated from the BMW 3 Series sedan it is often compared to.

Although built on the same Cluster Architecture (CLAR) modular platform, the coupe’s design and dynamics are more performance focused. Versus the 3 Series sedan, the new 4 Series coupe sees a height reduction of 2.2 inches with a center of gravity lowered by 0.8 inches. The rear track width is increased by nearly an inch and the vehicle’s overall coefficient of drag is 0.015 sleeker. The suspension, steering, and brakes also see additional sport tuning for improved precision and responsiveness.

The 2021 BMW M440i xDrive variant adds a new powertrain, as well, an inline 6-cylinder engine paired with a mild-hybrid system. Output will be 374 horsepower but the 48-volt battery technology generates an additional 11 hp during mash-the-pedal acceleration runs. The only transmission, however, is an 8-speed automatic.

A convertible and BMW M4 variants also are in the works. The 2021 BMW 4 Series coupe is expected to go on sale in late 2020.

GMC Hummer EV Coming…Eventually

If you were eager to finally see the resurrected Hummer in its all-new all-electric form, you’ll have to wait a little longer.

Originally scheduled for a May 20 reveal, GMC has announced a postponement of the new electric Hummer’s debut. Although no reason was given (but probably coronavirus pandemic related), the corporate statement did officially refer to the new vehicle as the GMC Hummer EV, and also assured that development was still on track even if the unveil was not.

To satiate the hopefuls, GMC released a teaser video, which, with enough squinting, you’ll notice the vehicle has no roof. Other than powertrain specs, not much else has been released about the EV—let alone any mention of a removable top. A teaser indeed.

The GMC Hummer EV is slated for a fall 2021 debut.

Porsche Extends Expiring New-Vehicle Warranties

With the coronavirus health crisis continuing for the foreseeable future, owners of new and leased Porsche vehicles with warranties expiring between March and May 2020 will receive an automatic 3-month extension.

This announcement is the latest initiative to come from the Porsche at Your Service (PAYS) campaign. A partnership between Porsche Cars North America and its dealers, the program offers customers online and home options in place of dealership visits for a variety of services.

Additionally, finance help is available in the form of lease-end extensions, payment deferrals, and low-interest financing.

Audi Adds a Plug-In Hybrid to Its A6 Lineup

Wagon fans get a new model to swoon over as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) joins the 2020 Audi A6 Avant lineup.

Equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the A6 Avant PHEV produces a combined rating of 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. EV-only range is estimated at 31 miles. With a top speed of 155 mph and a zero-to-60 mph time in the mid-5s, errand-running will be quicker and more fuel-efficient than ever.
Of course, the A6 Avant PHEV is only available in Germany. Womp womp. But there is a silver lining for A6/Avant admirers. The RS6 Avant and the A6 Allroad are both coming to America by year’s end. The former has never been offered here, and the latter hasn’t visited the U.S. in 15 years. Welcome back!

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