Hyundai’s brand new N-division seems to be honoring the secret request of every hoser who’s mispronounced the marque’s name as “Hoon-day.” Their new racing-focused concept isn’t just a preview of N-cars to come, but a caged track beast with Lambo doors that I would spend many days hooning if given the chance.
Hyundai’s N brand will be something sort of in the vein of BMW’s motorsport-derived M-cars, only it’s one letter off so we won’t get confused, I guess.
Taking a page from their insane big-winged, big-flared i20 WRC efforts, the RN30 is an i30-based hot-hatch packing a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine developed specifically for the N marque with stronger forged internals and a larger turbo.
A wet-type dual-clutch transmission puts the power down with lightning-fast shifts and a heaping load of disappointment for those of us who’d rather row gears than flip paddles. It comes with sport mode, however, that rev-matches for you and and cues the Electronic Variable Exhaust to be louder.
A trick electronic limited-slip differential in the car’s all-wheel-drive system distributes all that go-fast power to four wheels, quickly redirecting torque away from wheels that are slipping.
Hyundai also focused on keeping the center of gravity low, and the materials light. Instead of going with a pricy carbon fiber polymer, they worked with the chemists at BASF to develop a new lightweight high-performance plastic for many of the RN30's components. Even the 19 inch wheels are a lightweight alloy. The interior, of course, is all race car, stripped out and caged with a low seating position.
The dimensions of the car itself have changed as well, going 1.18 inches wider and 3.3 inches lower than a regular i30 to improve cornering and stability.
The big air intake in the hood lets you know immediately that this little peanut means business. “Floating” fenders work with the side splitters to produce more downforce, as does the big center fin that feeds into that massive rear wing. A rear diffuser rounds out the package above two centrally-mounted white ceramic exhaust pipes.
Hyundai Motor Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development Albert Biermann said in a company press release that the RN30 will evolve into Hyundai’s first N-badged model, which still somehow aren’t real cars that exist that we can buy. Build it, Hyundai.
So, shall we expect N-badged hot hatches first? Personally, I hope they out-hardcore all the other so-called “performance” brands and keep the bare-bones aesthetics of this thing. Either way, we like where this is going.
Photos credit: Hyundai via Newspress