With 279 PS sent to the front wheels, the Hyundai i30 N is already a pretty serious hot hatch, but a source at the South Korean manufacturer has confirmed that an even more potent version is in the works. That’s according to Australian automotive portal CarsGuide, which reported that prototypes with all-wheel drive are being developed and tested.

Hyundai Australia’s public relations manager Guido Schenken said that all-wheel drive has been part of the i30 N’s concept strategy from the start, affirming Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann’s claim that all-wheel drive could be the focus of the sub-brand in the future.

Schenken’s statement was given greater credence by Geoff Fear, a consultant working on Hyundai’s Australian chassis tuning and motorsport programmes. Fear said that the rear-axle and suspension setup of the Kona SUV, which is available with AWD, is “directly compatible” with the i30. “Both cars sit on the same platform and the Kona’s rear-end bolts right in,” he said.

Indeed, late last year Fear said that AWD remains a priority for the brand, and while he was mum on details, this could mean that an AWD i30 N and even an N version of the Kona are possibilities. Such models will likely come with a healthy boost in power – rivals like the Focus RS are already putting out around 350 hp, while the next Volkswagen Golf R could arrive with up to 400 hp in the Plus variant.

GALLERY: Hyundai i30 N at KLIMS 2018