If you’re going to make a grand entry into the world of high-performance cars, you should look to challenge the best in the game. That is precisely what Hyundai’s performance sub-brand, N, is looking to do, as it has named the Volkswagen Golf GTI, BMW M3 and BMW M4 as benchmark targets with its upcoming line-up.

However, the N brand will not be looking to compete only in the horsepower war. Speaking to Drive, Hyundai North America vice president of product planning Mike O’Brien said, “it’s going to be focused on balanced performance, not just the best horsepower or the best 0-100 km/h time.

“It’s going to be more about a combination of great acceleration and performance and great driving dynamics as well,” he added. Hyundai’s N brand is said to comprise a wide range of vehicles including the i30 and Veloster. Recently, it released a video that reveals the “beginning of N,” featuring both models. Expect other models to be added as time goes by.

Hyundai has already rendered the services of former BMW M VP of engineering Albert Biermann to lead its N sub-brand, a statement of its high ambitions. “Our first step with Albert is a clear step that second best is not going to be acceptable for us. We want to make sure we have the very best and brightest folks working on this,” said O’Brien.

The Golf GTI may be a benchmark for say, an i30 N, but the company is also looking to produce a car to compete against the BMW M models. The N brand can contribute to this effort by working with Hyundai’s other newly established sub-brand, Genesis.

Hyundai America president and CEO David Zuchowski told Drive, “to play in that segment I think that becomes really important. It’s important because we really never have established a performance image in this market.”

GALLERY: Hyundai i30 N spied at Nurburgring