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Hyundai is taking a more sporting direction with its models, with an N performance version of the i30 spied testing ahead of its anticipated 2017 launch.

At the heart of the RN30 concept is a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 380 PS and 451 Nm of torque, transmitted to all four wheels via a dual-clutch gearbox, in contrast to front-wheel-drive used by the new i30 the concept car is based on. Further aiding the RN30’s traction is an electronic limited slip differential, which also aims at improving stability in high-speed corners.

Instead of the common race car construction practice of using carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), Hyundai enlisted help from chemicals producer BASF for the innovation of all-new, high performance platic materials which Hyundai says are light, highly durable and evironmentally friendly, while achieving the same goals of weight reduction as traditionally used materials for better handling and acceleration.

A lower, wider stance has been applied to the silhouette of the latest i30, which also contributes to greater stability during high speed driving. the RN30’s width is increased by 30 mm over the standard, road-going i30’s to 1,950 mm, while its height has been lowered by a considerable 84 mm compared to the series-production road car.

Up in front, the RN30 sports the Korean automaker’s latest signature cascading grille with futuristic headlamps, which incorporate daytime running lights. Airflow is directed through the grille and air intake, both doing double duty for improved cooling and increased downforce over the front axle.

At the rear, a large rear spoiler visually extends the RN30’s roofline while generating downforce for more grip at high speeds, while a large rear diffuser is set above a pair of centrall-mounted ceramic exhaust pipes. Large 19-inch wheels round off the RN30’s aesthetic at its four corners.

To further improve agility, the car’s centre of gravity has been further lowered by positioning the seats lower and further back in the chassis. Inside, the RN30 features a bucket seat for the driver and an integrated roll cage for increased body strength and improved driver protection.

Additionally, image-stabilising gimbal cameras are mounted inside each A-pillar, while an external camera is mounted on the central fin on the roof, which will allow the RN30’s driver to record footage and replay them for later viewing.

The i30 N will be the first car from the N sub-brand, and is expected to debut next year in two versions, a standard N model and one with a performance pack, similar to the current Volkswagen Golf GTI. N alludes to the car’s birthplace in Namyang, South Korea, as well as its development at the Nürburgring.