IT’S A ’RING THING
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.”