Hyundai has released a series of short teaser videos, featuring the Hyundai i30N prototype - the latest of which, being put through its paces, ahead of its Nurburgring debut.
The i30N is the first hot-hatchback to come out of the company’s ‘N’ sub-brand. Due for launch in late 2017, the car packs a 2.0-liter turbo engine, which produces a wholesome 260 hp. The car will initially only be supplied with a six-speed manual gearbox, although an automatic gearbox isn’t off the cards just yet.
Ex-Vice President of BMW ‘M’, Albert Biermann, now in charge of the i30N’s development, has made it clear that the i30N will have several upgrades over the standard model, such as better steering, stiffer engine and transmission mounts to help with the loads delivered in cornering and braking, and a gearshift that is more precise.
No pricing has been announced as of yet, but Biermann believes that while the price will be higher than the standard i30, yet less than other hot hatches on the market. The European market will take delivery first, followed by other markets such as U.S. and China.
The acid test for Hyundai’s hot-hatch would undoubtedly be in an upcoming Nurburgring 24-hours endurance race – where three i30Ns have been entered. Hyundai's objective is to understand key parameters of performance, reliability, and drivability.
In the near future, innovations achieved with the ‘N’ brand of vehicles, in terms of handling and driving improvements will be carried over to other models in the Hyundai line-up. This includes the Genesis luxury sub-brand, which is expected to get its own performance model sometime in the near future.
After the slightly lukewarm response towards Hyundai’s first stab at a hot-hatch, could the i30N bring about better fortunes?