Hyundai is kicking off its performance aspirations by officially revealing its new ‘N’ division at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.
It is tagged by Hyundai as a “new high-performance sub-brand” that will initially show a duo of concept cars ahead of launching the first N production car in around two years.
“The result of intensive testing and product development, the sub-brand N builds on Hyundai motor’s successful motorsport experiences and technology capability to drive future performance-oriented and race-track-capable models,” the Korean brand communicated in a statement.
A further aim Hyundai says is to “bring ‘the most thrilling winding road’ fun to customers who truly love cars.”
The Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo concept will come to life in the Playstation game of the same name. Only a single, front photo of the wide and low-slung sports car has been released so far, showing L-shaped headlights and a wedgy four-point grille ahead of what appears to be a single-seat cockpit.
Indications are that in a decade’s time – as the 2025 badging reflects – the Koreans could build a proper, Audi R8-style halo sports car for its new division that stands for Namyang, the company’s hometown and proving ground location.
Closer to reality is a mid-engined, 221kW 2.0-litre turbo Veloster concept complete with aluminium suspension design and unique chassis configuration. Called the Hyundai RM15 concept, it is “suggesting how the Hyundai N driver-focused technologies could come into production”.
Hyundai World Rally Championship (WRC) chief Michel Nandan recently told UK outlet Autocar that the first N division product would be a next-generation i30 hot-hatch to compete with the Volkswagen Golf GTI and even the Golf R.
The 221kW 2.0-litre would find a happy home in the new-gen car that is expected within two years, and is being designed with front- and all-wheel drive sports models in mind.
Responding to the speculation, Hyundai Australia public relations manager Bill Thomas didn’t mince his words.
“We hope that because Australia is such a big hot-hatch market, and also is the world’s biggest i30 market, we’re very keen on the car, we’re very happy to be involved in whatever planning for that car is happening,” he said.
“We hope that it’s a serious hot-hatch, I think the more serious it is the better because you’re only going to get one chance to launch it right the first time”.
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