THE N GAME

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Cover Story -

SA Not yet tested, 7 airb airbags ENGINESENG 1.6-litre turbo petrol and diesel diesel; 150kW/265Nm, 100kW/ 100kW/280Nm TRANSM TRANS­MIS­SION 6- 6-speed speed ma man­ual, 7-speed dual- dual-clutch; clutch; F FWD DIMENSIONSDIMENSION 4340mm (L), 1795mm (W),), (W), 1455mm1 (H), 2650mm (WB (WB) THE first Hyundai hero from the new N per­for­mance di­vi­sion is an i30 with up to 205kW of tur­bocharged power, an elec­tron­i­cally-con­trolled lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial and bold body bits in­spired by the South Korean com­pany’s world rally pro­gram. The front-wheel drive hot hatch will launch with a six-speed man­ual gear­box but an eight­speed twin-clutch auto is al­ready under de­vel­op­ment for the car. It also gets sports seats, a four-pipe ex­haust sys­tem and a va­ri­ety of driv­ing modes.

There will be two N cars, one with 186kW and the full-fat model with 205kW. The first i30N is al­ready in Aus­tralia for lo­cal eval­u­a­tion and tweak­ing but of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion of the pro­gram in Seoul and sight­ings of de­vel­op­ment cars at Hyundai’s Namyang re­search-and-de­vel­op­ment cen­tre point to the key role of the new car.

The N di­vi­sion is headed by for­mer BMW M boss Al­bert Bier­mann and is ex­pected to tweak the up­com­ing Veloster re­place­ment. There are also plans for cos­metic-only pack­ages sim­i­lar to the M Sport up­grades from BMW.

“It’s im­por­tant from a brand­ing point of view. It demon­strates the com­pany’s abil­ity to de­velop that sort of prod­uct. It’s the i30 to­day and other prod­ucts in the fu­ture,” says Hyundai Aus­tralia chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Scott Grant.

“It pro­vides a level of ex­cite­ment. It has many, many ar­eas to con­trib­ute. It’s some­thing that Aus­tralians have an in­ter­est in. It’s been the heart of our in­dus­try for a very long time.

“It’s that emo­tional char­ac­ter­is­tic that drives a seg­ment of the in­dus­try. With N we will have a bet­ter halo car.”

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