Increasing Horsepower and Performance in Your Hyundai Elantra

2011 Hyundai Elantra White

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HYUNDAI ELANTRA

The Hyundai Elantra is a four-door compact car that has been one of Hyundai carmakers most dependable automobile lines. Since the Elantra entered the North American automobile market, it has been a reliable, safe and economical, yet stylish car. Through its automotive life, Hyundai has regularly upgraded Elantra with the latest styling, safety, technology and performance advancements making it a popular choice for a compact sedan.

The Hyundai Elantra made its North American debut in 1992 with a Mitsubishi engine. The car was updated in 1995 and the second generation Elantra was introduced with a 100.6 wheelbase, and a new stylish exterior design. In 1998 the Elantra was offered with a station wagon body design with a 1.8 liter 130 horsepower four-cylinder engine. Trim levels available with the 1998 version of Elantra included the base car or the GLS with four-wheel disc brakes, standard dual airbags, power windows, and a premium audio system with a built-in cassette player. The 1999 Hyundai Elantra was introduced with 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generating 140 horsepower and 133-foot-pounds of torque.

Hyundai revealed an all-new Elantra for North America in 2001. The Elantra underwent a new exterior styling design, with dual front and side airbags, powers locks and windows and air conditioning offered as standard equipment in all versions of the car. The wagon was replaced by the Elantra GT hatchback. The 2003 Elantra received new grille styling, redesigns of the hood and trunk, front and rear bumpers, and updated front and rear headlight technology. The Hyundai Elantra’s 2004 update included exterior body styling refinements and variable engine valve timing. The response and power of the Elantra engines can be enhanced by injecting more air into the engine with an aftermarket modified air intake system.

The redesigned fourth-generation Hyundai Elantra for 2007 was first introduced to America at the 2006 New York Auto Show demonstrating increased interior room, updated styling, and technology with more fuel-efficient engine options. The 2009 version of the fourth generation Elantra offered a 2.0-liter engine, curtain airbags, active head restraints, and all-around disc brakes with four-channel ABS. The fourth generation Elantra offered the most interior room in its class, prompting the United States Environmental Protection agency to re-classify the Elantra from a compact car to a mid-sized car. For 2009 Hyundai introduced the hatchback Elantra Touring trim.

The fifth generation of the Hyundai Elantra was unveiled at the 2010 Busan International Motor Show and introduced to the North American market in 2011. The 2011 Elantra presented with a fresh more aerodynamic exterior design. It has a 1.6-liter direct injection gasoline engine with an aluminum engine block. The aluminum engine block replaces the much heavier previous generation cast iron engine block, lending more engine power and fuel efficiency. The fifth generation Elantra offers tasteful styling, dependability, safety, and performance. This Elantra has become a leader in the compact and midsize North American automobile market becoming one of Hyundai’s most popular models and eventually became the car makers number one seller.

The 2017 sixth generation Elantra presented an affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle with state of the art connectivity and the latest technology upgrades.

INCREASING HORSEPOWER AND PERFORMANCE IN YOUR HYUNDAI ELANTRA

With the Hyundai Elantra being one of the most popular cars bought in recent years, there are plenty of people ready to switch this tiny efficiency car into beast mode (probably including yourself).

Along with anyone that’s curious about modifying their Elantra for top performance, you’ll want to find the the most price-efficient mods within your budget. The following section will help you identify two of the most popular, easy to install modifications you can make (aside from the obvious blinker fluid).

One mod to fit that category is an aftermarket air intake system (cold or short ram intake), with the other being, performance tires. While neither of these are absolutely necessary, they will however, provide a boost to how your Elantra performs under the hood and in the streets.

There are plenty of other modifications you can make to squeeze out the most from your car, increasing performance tremendously, but for a steep price. However, this article will focus on wallet friendly mods!

HYUNDAI ELANTRA AFTERMARKET AIR INTAKE SYSTEM

In short: An aftermarket intake is designed to allow more air to flow through your engine. In most cases, the air pulled in from the air- intake is cooler, more dense and more oxygen rich than the air pulled in from a stock (OEM) air intake. The one exception to this rule is known as a Warm Air Intake which we’ll cover later. All aftermarket intakes are extremely efficient in filtering dust and other small contaminants from entering your engine.

For a complete understanding of an air intake system, please see our article: Aftermarket Air Intake Systems Explained.

See the chart below for the most popular and inexpensive intakes for your Elantra.

We Chose
HPS 27-538WB Black Shortram Air Intake Kit with Heat Shield (Cool Short Ram SRI)
K&N 69-5317TS Performance Air Intake System
AEM 21-718P Cold Air Intake System
HPS 27-538WB Black Shortram Air Intake Kit with Heat Shield (Cool Short Ram SRI)
K&N 69-5317TS Performance Air Intake System
AEM 21-718P Cold Air Intake System
$180.50
$311.99
$256.99
6 Reviews
1 Reviews
2 Reviews
Fits 2011-2016 | 1.8L
-
-
We Chose
HPS 27-538WB Black Shortram Air Intake Kit with Heat Shield (Cool Short Ram SRI)
HPS 27-538WB Black Shortram Air Intake Kit with Heat Shield (Cool Short Ram SRI)
$180.50
6 Reviews
Fits 2011-2016 | 1.8L
K&N 69-5317TS Performance Air Intake System
K&N 69-5317TS Performance Air Intake System
$311.99
1 Reviews
-
AEM 21-718P Cold Air Intake System
AEM 21-718P Cold Air Intake System
$256.99
2 Reviews
-

Last update on 2019-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A review for the HPS 27-538WB as shown in the chart above:

I noticed improvement with acceleration immediately. Only flaw with this design is that the air filter can knock against the fuse box while idling. I had to improvise and I used automotive grade weather resistant foam strip (the kind for windows and doors) to pad the metal air shield and air filter from knocking into things.

I only had a problem with installing the double ended dampener into my car frame. I don’t think the threads matched up the way they should have because when I was screwing it in, I kept stripping the thread on the dampener. Finally I just gave in and forced it in with a channel lock wrench (lock jaw) because I was at that point of no return basically (needed to go to work the next day). Really not much you can do at this point.

Anyhow – that’s all to be expected with automotive work, so I am no stranger to any of that and I don’t think anyone buying this product should be either. That’s why I still give it 5 stars, excellent fair price for an excellent product and fairly simple install.

HYUNDAI ELANTRA PERFORMANCE TIRES

In short: Upgrading your tires is important because four small rectangular patches of rubber are your car’s only connection to the road surface. As you drive, the forces of acceleration, steering, cornering and braking must all be transmitted through this rubber/road interface.

Since you have no control over the quality or performance of the road surfaces you are driving on, let’s focus on the one thing you can do that will make a noticeable difference in your car’s performance in this regard: upgrading your tires.

For a complete understanding on performance tires see our article: Performance Tire Buyer’s Guide.

The chart below provides you with inexpensive performance tire options for your Elantra.

We Chose
Hankook Ventus V2 concept 2 All-Season Radial Tire - 205/55R16 V
Nokian ZLINE A/S Performance Radial Tire - 205/55R16 91W
Cooper Tires Zeon RS3-G1 All- Season Radial Tire-205/55R16 91W
$67.78
$91.45
$98.12
Hankook Ventus V2 concept 2 All-Season Radial Tire - 205/55R16 V
Nokian ZLINE A/S Performance Radial Tire - 205/55R16 91W
Cooper Tires Zeon RS3-G1 All- Season Radial Tire-205/55R16 91W
73 Reviews
6 Reviews
3 Reviews
We Chose
Hankook Ventus V2 concept 2 All-Season Radial Tire - 205/55R16 V
$67.78
Hankook Ventus V2 concept 2 All-Season Radial Tire - 205/55R16 V
73 Reviews
Nokian ZLINE A/S Performance Radial Tire - 205/55R16 91W
$91.45
Nokian ZLINE A/S Performance Radial Tire - 205/55R16 91W
6 Reviews
Cooper Tires Zeon RS3-G1 All- Season Radial Tire-205/55R16 91W
$98.12
Cooper Tires Zeon RS3-G1 All- Season Radial Tire-205/55R16 91W
3 Reviews

Last update on 2019-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ARTICLE RECAP

To briefly recap: The Elantra can be easily modified for performance. An aftermarket intake system, such as a Cold Air Intake or Short Ram Intake allows for improved horsepower, acceleration and MPG with being one of the easier options to install. Performance tires allow this vehicle to stick to the road better to provide better handling and often times, MPG. Both options are generally inexpensive when compared to other modifications (suspension, engine work, brakes and fuel).

If you’re interested and feel like learning the history behind Hyundai vehicles, feel free to watch the video below.

– Sean from Shortram.



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