Apart from a few minor modifications, the cars are close to production ready.
Hyundai hasn’t even pulled the sheets off its most potent production model, the i30 N, but already the marque is entering two examples into the Nurburgring 24-Hours race. Bold move. Two cars that are reportedly "close to series production" will hit the track for the first time in competition in one of the toughest races around.
The cars will participate in the SP3T class (1.6- to 2.0-liter turbocharged engines). Both will come equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine and paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. That same engine and transmission will carry over to the production model, says Hyundai, and apart from a few regulatory modifications, the cars are mostly stock.
An FIA-homologated roll cage, a fire extinguisher, and a single racing seat has been added for the event. Racing brakes and tires have also been equipped, while the exterior gains a new front splitter and rear spoiler for added aerodynamic downforce.
Gallery: Hyundai i30 N Prototype
"We want our high-performance brand to have considerable racing pedigree so it is important that we compete with minimal modifications," said Head of Performance Development Albert Biermann in an interview back in April. "Nürburgring is where the i30 N has undergone much of its testing and chassis development."
The team of drivers will include employees from Hyundai’s Global R&D Center in Namyang, including engineer Jaekyun Kum, along with a trio of professionals. Vincent Radermecker from Belgium, Stuart Leonard from the U.K., and journalist Christian Gebhardt will take the driver’s seat of team number one.
Team number two will consist of Pieter Schothorst from the Netherlands, Jens Dralle, an automotive journalist from Germany, and Youngsun Jee and Jonghyuk Kwon, two engineers at the Hyundai R&D Center. The ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race at the Nurburgring will kick off tomorrow, May 25, 2017.
Hyundai Motor will enter the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at Nürburgring with two close-to-series-production Hyundai i30 N models – the first model from Hyundai’s high-performance sub-brand N – ahead of the global launch in the second half of 2017. This participation also represents the final testing of the vehicle in the ultimate endurance at the legendary race track.
“The 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is one of the most challenging endurance race in the world. We will use the race as a final test for our Hyundai i30 N development to check how the vehicle is performing under these extreme conditions and where we can still fine tune the car before its market launch,” says Albert Biermann, Executive Vice President and Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development at Hyundai Motor Company. “With the Hyundai i30 N we want to offer a car that feels direct, responsive and predictable and that performs well on the track without compromising every day driving capabilities. Most importantly the i30 N should be fun to drive for everyone.”
The Hyundai i30 N will be Hyundai Motor’s first high performance model under the N sub-brand. The ‘N’ stands for Namyang, Hyundai Motor’s global R&D Centre, and for the Nürburgring, home to Hyundai Motor’s European Test Centre. The ‘N’ logo resembles a chicane, representing the ultimate driving experience on winding roads. At the Nürburgring, the i30 N has undergone much of its testing and chassis development, so Hyundai Motor wants its high-performance model to finally prove its race track capability in the world most challenging race.
The two cars participating in the race will enter the SP3T class (1.6- to 2.0-liter turbo charged engines), they are equipped with a 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol engine in combination with a six-speed manual transmission. The same powertrain combination will be applied in the Hyundai i30 N series model. For the participation in the 24-hour race the two cars have been modified focusing mainly on the drivers’ safety, featuring a FIA homologated roll cage, a fire extinguisher and a race seat. For enhanced grip and braking performance the i30N’s are fitted with racing tires and race brakes. Additionally the vehicle’s exterior design based on the New Generation i30 series production model has been fitted with a front splitter and rear spoiler to enhance aerodynamics and increase downforce.
The team of race drivers includes engineers from Hyundai’s Global R&D Centre in Namyang. The pilots of race car #1 will be Vincent Radermecker from Belgium and Stuart Leonard from the UK, both professional drivers, supported by Christian Gebhardt, a automotive journalist and race driver from Germany, plus Jaekyun Kim, engineer at the R&D Centre of Hyundai Motor in South Korea. Racing Team #2 will consist of Pieter Schothorst from the Netherlands as the professional driver, Jens Dralle, also an automotive journalist from Germany and Youngsun Jee and Jonghyuk Kwon, both engineers at Hyundai Motor's South Korean R&D Centre.
Hyundai Motor has teamed up with strong partners as sponsors for its participation in the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at Nürburgring including Shell Helix, Hankook Tire and Alpinestars.