The Hyundai i30 N is no slouch in the raw number department, with up to 279 PS on tap in Performance Package guise, sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. There’s more to come, with all-wheel-drive for future, more potent variants, and here our spy photgraphers have captured images of what appears to be an augmented i30 N.

Dubbed the ‘Special Edition’ for now, the revised i30 N is likely to retain its engine outputs of 279 PS and 353 Nm of torque, and the performance gains appear set to come from weight reduction. The camouflaged bodywork here appears to be largely the same as that on the current production car, though our sources indicate that the weight loss could come from sportier seats, a carbon-fibre bonnet and lightweight wheels.

This could mean that the forthcoming all-wheel-drive direction that could be the direction for the N sub-brand might not begin with this one, as adding the hardware for another pair of driven wheels will add considerable weight. The added on-circuit performance could also come from revised springs and dampers for better handling, despite engine outputs that are expected to remain as before.

This lighter, more performance-focused version could make a debut by the end of this year, our sources suggest. As for the even more powerful AWD version, that could surface later on to go head-to-head with the likes of the Ford Focus RS, a more potent Volkswagen Golf R and the 421 PS Mercedes-AMG A45 4Matic+, its engine claimed to be the world’s most powerful turbo four in series production.