IT’S A ’RING THING

Autocar - - FIRST DRIVES -

Our drive of this pro­to­type i20 and the i30 N (First drives, 16 Septem­ber) were based out of Hyundai’s hub at the Nür­bur­gring, where plenty of car mak­ers have be­spoke test fa­cil­i­ties and work­shops. But it’s worth not­ing that the old Nord­schleife is not the sole des­ti­na­tion for ride and han­dling tests. The roads around the area are part of the deal.

“N cars are de­vel­oped world­wide here,” says Klaus Köster, Hyundai’s di­rec­tor of high­per­for­mance ve­hi­cle de­vel­op­ment. “Ev­ery­thing re­lated to ride and han­dling and in­te­gra­tion, so ev­ery­thing works in a har­mo­nious way. The main fo­cus [for N mod­els] is driv­ing dy­nam­ics. Driv­ers need to get out of the car with a grin. It’s all about fun to drive.”

Alex Eich­ler, head of high-per­for­mance test­ing and de­vel­op­ment, agrees. “Some roads near here are very rough, which is im­por­tant,” he says. “The Nord­schleife is like a mag­ni­fy­ing glass. By the time I brake for Hatzen­bach [just two miles into a lap], I al­ready know about the car.”

“Com­fort is im­por­tant,” adds Köster. “Al­though it is not the high­est on our pri­or­ity list.”

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