Attracting the other side of customers
Recently (5 – 6 Years ago) Hyundai managed somehow to change its image all over the globe; with the launch of its new line of cars using the latest modeling (fluidic Sculpture) design philosophy, and a more enhanced and refined materials. The world back then started to notice the Korean automaker and pay more attention to it. While it’s known for most of us that Hyundai’s SUVs, Sedans and hatchbacks haven’t set our heart’s beats to go faster in the past.
Well, it’s more likely that it will now.
The Korean Automaker “Hyundai” recently did the unthinkable – it revealed a car that sounds genuinely exciting to drive. The i30 N, Hyundai’s first serious hot hatch fighter. In the competitive hot hatch segment it’s not so easy to be a serious player, especially if we are talking about rivals such as Ford – with its Focus ST and Volkswagen – with its Golf GTI.
It’s engineered by the man behind BMW’s greatest M cars, so why wouldn’t it be special?
The I30 N is exactly the car that will force both automakers to work hard and keep their cars at the top of the game. And it comes in two trims a base version with 247 horsepower and a more hardcore one that we will stick with it to keep things more interesting.
As a part of the deal Hyundai is trying to prove that it knows one thing or two about fun to drive cars (even when rear wheel-drive is not involved), the Korean automaker fitted the i30 N with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine capable of pushing 275 horsepower to the front wheels, 19-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tires, a lower ride height and a variable exhaust valve system. Now that’s a type of car that will attract people to the brand. And, Hyundai needs this so badly. Well, at least from a performance perspective.
With an electronic differential and Nurburgring-tuned suspension, it has all the makings of a Golf GTI fighter because by the looks of things, Hyundai managed to throw fun and practicality into a single car. And as we have mentioned earlier, anyone in the segment has to be worried not only about the price department, but also, about the performance as the car can give them all hell on the track. When Albert Beirmann, the man responsible for tuning BMW’s previous M cars joined Hyundai not a while ago so he can refine the i30 N in a way that will ensure Hyundai is a serious player in the segment.
The i30 N will also only be offered, at least initially, with a six-speed manual. We doubt anyone’s complaining, but what about a fast-shifting dual-clutch or paddle shift automatic? “We are developing such a transmission in Hyundai and we are thinking sooner or later to bring it in to the range.” Fortunately, N cars will always have a manual option, Biermann confirmed. What this all means is that there are lots more possibilities for the i30 N and, hopefully, the US market will one day soon benefit from them as well.
By the way, in case anyone doesn’t already know, ‘N,’ in this case, stands for two places: ‘Namyang,’ which is Hyundai’s global R&D center in Korea. The second place is the Nurburgring. It’s interesting to know that Hyundai’s first hot hatch has already grabbed a lot of attention: as the First Edition, limited to 100 units, sold out in just two days. Appropriately, the First Edition was offered exclusively to German customers, since the car was named after the Nurburgring where it was thoroughly tested.
“The high interest in the First Edition confirms our confidence in the i30 N,” said Albert Biermann, VP of Performance Development and High Performance Vehicle Division.
“Our first high-performance model under the N line up has been developed from the ground up to deliver pure driving pleasure in an accessible high-performance package for the road and for the track. It enriches the Hyundai brand with emotional appeal. People will experience a contented grin when driving this performance car.”