Hyundai has announced the first ever full-blown N model will be launched in 2017.
The first N-badged model came out last August, but with 115 horsepower on tap, that wasn’t exactly something to get excited about. For a true performance car from Hyundai’s N division, you’ll have to wait until next year when the i30 N will see the light of production day. That is the promise made by Albert Biermann, Hyundai’s Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development.
It is going to be based on the third-generation i30 and will use a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that was tested last weekend in a development car during the grueling Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race. It crossed the finish line on position 90th overall after covering 2,309 kilometers (91 laps) of the track, with a fastest lap time of 9:55.636.
Speaking to Autocar, Biermann hinted the front-wheel-drive 2017 i30 N will be able to hit a top speed of approximately 155 mph (250 kph). The newly developed engine will be linked initially only to a manual gearbox, but an automatic transmission is scheduled to arrive at some point in 2018. Interestingly, Biermann did not exclude the possibility of an all-wheel-drive i30 N as well.
While information regarding an exact power figure is not available at the moment of writing, a video released last week by Hyundai did show something interesting. The turbo-four unit was on a test bench and the computers showed it was generating 263.9 PS (260 hp / 194 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 308.9 Nm (228.09 lb-ft) of torque. These output numbers are not final, but at least we have an idea about what to expect from the production car.
To spice things up, Hyundai will sell the i30 N with an optional track-oriented performance package that will increase the engine’s performance even more. Some of the goodies on the menu that will come as standard include an electronically-adjustable limited-slip differential, upgraded exhaust, optimized gearbox, beefier brakes, and other improvements over the regular i30. Biermann said the N version is going to be “affordable,” so its price is expected to undercut more established hot hatches such as the Ford Focus ST and the VW Golf GTI.
Lastly, Biermann mentioned Hyundai’s premium brand Genesis will also get some spicy versions with help from the N division.