THE N GAME
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.”