Hyundai has confirmed it will develop a new line of ‘N’ performance vehicles in conjunction with the newly established Hyundai WRC team.
After T W White & Sons first raised the question whether a high-performance road-going version of the Hyundai i20 (inspired by the Hyundai i20 WRC) could eventually make production, it now seems the answer is yes.
Alongside the announcement, the World Rally Championship team also unveiled its livery for the 2014 Hyundai i20 WRC challenger, with the colours of title sponsor Shell lending themselves to the i20’s shape beautifully.
We say beautiful – this thing is really a bruiser, and we can’t wait to see it out on the stages now we know what it looks like.
It’s the N performance brand that is the really exciting news, however. This means Hyundai could target the likes of BMW’s M Division, Audi’s RS products and Mercedes super-powerful AMG line-up. Now that would be something.
That’d only be with its larger products, like the Hyundai i40 saloon and Hyundai i40 Tourer.
With the Korean firm’s smaller hatchbacks – like the Hyundai i20 and Hyundai i30 – Hyundai would be targeting Renault’s RS products, as well as Ford’s go-faster STs.
Hyundai’s sister brand Kia has already had a go at developing a hot hatchback, so we can’t wait for the full-fat Hyundai versions.
The Korean manufacturer has not outlined which N models it will launch first, however reports suggest it could be the Hyundai i30 N, sporting around 190hp from a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
It’s rumoured that Hyundai will also do a limited-run model kicking out around 220hp and maybe even more – the VW Golf GTI better watch its back.
While the Hyundai N range will undoubtedly deliver maximum driving pleasure, the special boot badge has also been designed to represent a halo range of Hyundai models and prove to people the brand has changed.
Hyundai can match European manufacturers for quality and performance – as it has been doing for years now – at a seriously affordable price.
The N range will have strong links with Hyundai’s relatively young World Rally Championship team, with engineers from the motorsport side having input on the N Cars’ development and setup. We like the sound of this.
The first concept Hyundai N car is expected to debut in 2014, with the venue thought to be the Paris Motor Show.
We can’t wait to see it, but what do you think of a performance-focused Hyundai? Would you like to see a 220hp hot hatch at an amazing price?