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Recent spyshots of the Hyundai i30 N near the Nurburgring suggest that the South Korean brand is hard at work to produce a hardcore version of its C-segment hatch to take on the Volkswagen Golf R, Ford Focus RS or even the Honda Civic Type R.

It is rumoured to be based on the 1.6 litre T-GDI turbo four-cylinder plant, and it would have to produce at least 280-300 hp to take on its more established rivals.

The pictures show a deeper front spoiler, and the wheels have larger brakes with red calipers and bigger rotors too. There also seems to be an extra set of gauges placed on top of the centre stack, which could be turbo metres. Once finished, the car should sport a fully changed wider body kit with big final exhausts.

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Speaking to Autocar UK, Hyundai World Rally Championship boss, Michel Nandan, said that the i30 will spearhead the introduction of the N division, which is intended to create a greater emotional link around Hyundai’s road cars.

To be launched in two years time, Nandan elaborates that engine specifications are still under discussion, but he did confirm that it will be turbocharged using WRC-derived technology.

The publication goes to say that the next-generation i30 is being developed on an all-new platform to compete with the very best hot hatches. Nandan adds that the motorsport branch is assisting in terms of R&D as well to make this project a success.

The N-brand performance division of Hyundai is based in Alzenau, near Frankfurt, Germany, and Hyundai’s intention is to create a bridge between their World Rally Championship expertise and road going cars.

GALLERY: Hyundai “N” i20 rally car