Hyundai launched its N performance division back in December 2013 and now the head of the brand, Albert Biermann, has confirmed that the i30 N will launch in international markets in 2017 as the first ‘N’ badged road car. Based on the next-generation i30, the new car will get a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. The engine is based on an existing Hyundai powerplant, but has been specifically tuned for improved performance and is expected to produce over 262.59hp. However, this has not been confirmed by the carmaker. But Biermann did suggest that the car could have a top speed of around 249.44kph.
‘N’ stands for Hyundai’s Namyang R&D centre south of Seoul, where much of the initial development for the Hyundai i20 WRC rally car took place. It may or may not also be a nod towards Hyundai’s dedicated test centre at the Nurburgring. In something of a coup, Hyundai signed engineer Albert Biermann, previously vice president of engineering at BMW’s M Division, to head up the N division’s road car development from late 2014. While he’s been involved with Hyundai’s World Rally programme initially, his ultimate job is to get stuck into a range of performance cars. This i30-based performance hatch will be the first to reach the market.