Hyundai’s new N division is set to follow up its new i30 N hot hatch with a hot version of the sleeker i30 Fastback and we"ve spotted it preparing for launch.
The performance division’s boss, ex-BMW M Division chief Albert Biermann, has previously told us that a variety of Hyundai N vehicles are imminent and we expect the standard i30 N and the recently unveiled Veloster N to be followed by this i30 N Fastback and then an i20 N that will rival the new Ford Fiesta ST.
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The N division is also spreading its wings downwards with less focused N Sport models set to join the standard range, starting with the i30 N Sport which our snappers have also spotted testing.
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The oddball Veloster coupe was axed from dealers here in 2014 and Hyundai UK has no plans to reintroduce any form of Veloster to the UK, but British customers will be offered the i30 N Fastback. Still a five-door but more stylish than the regular i30, the hot N Fastback can be seen wearing a light disguise in our spy pictures.
In line with the i30 N hatch, it will get more extreme looks to set it further apart from the standard model. It could also offer more power than the ‘regular’ i30 N. Biermann has admitted that his team has already taken Hyundai’s four-cylinder engine to much higher outputs in prototypes. “Last year already we had a car with 380bhp,” he said. “It was the 2.0 engine prototype – a test unit. We have no current plans to put that into production.”
Biermann is reluctant to use that sort of output to pitch an N model up against ‘mega-hatches’ like the Audi RS3 and the forthcoming next-generation Mercedes-AMG A 45, which will have at least 400bhp. “We’re not established yet in the marketplace,” he said. “We’re just starting. And just to go to the limit right away is, to my mind, not a smart way to do things.”
However, this still leaves scope for a modest increase in power – to around 300bhp – for the i30 Fastback, making use of more extreme chassis mods that could include a wider front track. Before the end of the decade, N is expected to bolster its appeal further with a hot i20.Hyundai i20 N by 2019
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Likely to be offered as a five-door and three-door Coupé, the i20 N Fiesta ST rival would help to support the brand’s World Rally Championship campaign, where the smaller hatch is used. When asked if N would go smaller than an i30, Biermann said: “Of course. Why would we limit ourselves? There are tons of hot superminis: Polo GTI, Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208. Even Toyota is doing one [Yaris GRMN]. There’s a good market.”
The hot i20 N will use a tuned version of the car’s 1.6-litre turbo that’s likely to produce around 200bhp. It’ll be front-wheel drive, and some versions are likely to feature an electronic front differential.
Will Hyundai"s N brand become a serious player in the performance car sector? Have your say in the comments...Nguồn: www.autoexpress.co.uk