It sounds like Hyundai has big plans for N.
There’s a lot of news swirling around Hyundai’s N performance line of cars. Designed to compete with the likes of the Volkswagen R and Ford RS brands, Hyundai’s N is about engaging driving dynamics. The rollout started with the i30 N hot hatch in 2017 followed by the Veloster N in the U.S. and Korea this year. Next is the i30 Fastback N. After that, we don’t know what's coming, but Hyundai is thinking about it.
The company is thinking about a standalone N model; however, details are far from nailed down. According to Autocar, sources suggest either a two-seat sports car a sporty four-door offering similar to the Kia Stinger GT.
“Right now, we don’t need a halo car in N. We have to get in a routine with N cars, and not just hit a peak,” Albert Biermann, Hyundai-Kia's head of vehicle testing and high-performance development, told Autocar. “This is the stage we have to bring consistency to this. We need to be careful with this initial success and with whatever we do next. We should not create any expectations we cannot fulfill: this i30 N was exactly the opposite to this.”
Right now, the company is all about building off the success of its various N products, introducing a new N-Line trim, and getting new customers into showrooms around the world. If Hyundai decides to pull the trigger on a standalone N model, it will want a portfolio of great vehicles to act as brand ambassadors for whatever halo N offering they develop – and that takes time.
While Hyundai won’t provide a timeline for such a car – as automaker often don’t speak about future product plans – there are rumors the automaker could okay an unexpected N model in the next few months. This could be the standalone N model or something else, like the mid-engined hatch Biermann has confirmed the company is continuing to develop.
Like most things in the automotive industry, we will have to wait to see what Hyundai does. The automaker is evaluating possible N models for several current products. The i30N hatch, Veloster N, and i30 Fastback are off to an excellent start for the performance division. It doesn't’ look like the company will rest on its laurels just yet.