Lost in all the hullabaloo over the announcement of the Hyundai i20 World Rally Championship car today was the news that Hyundai is launching a performance-oriented sub brand for their racing and production cars. Its name — and I am totally not making this up, I swear — is N.
Yes, N. The 14th letter of the alphabet, and just one away from a slightly more famous brand established by a certain Bavarian automaker. The N brand logo even has a remarkably similar color scheme to BMW's M.
Wow, Hyundai. I mean, just, wow.
Hyundai in a news release that the brand is not named for "Notorsport," which I am told is not a word, but after the Namyang R&D Centre that developed the i20 rally car and will make future road-going cars.
Slightly ridiculous name aside, I say this is a good thing. Hyundai's cars are now as good as any on the market, but their performance-oriented cars like the Genesis Coupe and Veloster Turbo aren't quite as competitive as they could be. Maybe race-inspired stuff from N will push them in that direction.
Personally, I'd love to see a medium-sized rear-wheel drive performance sedan from this brand. Maybe they can call it the N3. Or is that going too far?