Hyundai will use this weekend’s Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race in Germany to fast track development of its new high-performance ‘N’ sub-brand range.
The Korean auto maker (which has a technical centre at the Nurburgring) has entered a prototype of its i30 2.0L Turbo N in the extreme round-the-clock test.
The Hyundai i30 2.0L Turbo N is regarded by Hyundai as a potential rival for the likes of the Renault RS range, VW Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST and 40 percent of the car is new, including its engine and upgraded transmission, suspension and dampers. Race modifications for its ‘Ring debut include flared wheel arches, roof-mounted spoiler and a huge air dam.
The three-door i30 2.0L Turbo N’s engine also has a transient over-boost function, similar to that found in a Porsche 911 Turbo, and is expected to be paired to a six-speed manual or twin-clutch auto.
Former BMW M division vice-president of engineering, Albert Biermann, is leading Hyundai N model development.
“This Nürburgring 24-hour race provides the ideal test bed for our motorsport-inspired N sub-brand development and a key part of our ‘born in Namyang, honed at Nürburgring’ performance-car ethos,” Biermann said. “The technological inspiration and experience gained from this extreme testing will accelerate our development of high-performance, fun-to-drive N models.”
Hyundai is keeping details of production N models close to its chest, but given its focus on “delivering maximum driving pleasure to true motoring enthusiasts”, we’re expecting healthy power outputs and a weight cut.
Hyundai will also race two production cars in the 24 hours, a Veloster and an i30 1.6L Turbo, which will be defending its 2015 class title.