Hyundai-i30-N-Test-Mule

The have been racing on Sunday for some time now, but Hyundai still has nothing that’s seriously sporty to sell on Monday. That’s about to change pretty soon though, as the Korean marque’s development of its performance ‘N’ sub-brand is on track.

The company ran three cars at the Nürburgring 24-Hour race that took place over the weekend as part of the motorsport-inspired development of the N brand. Two cars were production-car-based – a i30 1.6 Turbo (#133) and a Veloster (#134) – and one was the i30 2.0 Turbo development car (#102).

The latter’s participation was for Hyundai to enhance the understanding of performance technologies for future high-performance N sub-brand models, the company said. The endurance race was also an “intensive test of the new performance-focused powerplant,” it added.

Around 40% of the development i30 2.0 Turbo is fresh, with its newly-developed engine, enhanced transmission, suspension, dampers and upgrades in other areas such as wheels, steering and wider fenders.

Autocar reports that the Hyundai i30 N, which will be based on the next-gen i30, will launch next year in manual transmission and front-wheel drive form, with an automatic arriving around 2018. AWD is a possibility. Apparently, the hot hatch will also be offered with a track-focused performance package that will further boost the 2.0 litre turbo motor’s performance.

The i30 N’s powerplant is said to be based on a current Hyundai engine, but is tuned for performance. Word is that it will boast more than 260 hp, which is higher than what Volkswagen’s Golf GTI and Ford’s Focus ST have.

Hyundai has for several years carried-out “accelerated endurance tests” with its production cars and now use the Nürburgring for intense tuning of the N vehicles. The company has its own 3,600 square metre test center at the famed track. The “accelerated endurance tests” consist of 480 Nordschleife laps (10,000 km) completed over the course of just a few weeks. The intensity of the test simulates more than 150,000 km in typical daily traffic, Hyundai says.