Hyundai will debut its N performance sub brand on the racing circuit starting with the Nurburgring 24-hour race, where it will put its upcoming hot hatch to the test. The automaker will enter three cars in total, a Veloster, an i30 hatch (Elantra GT in North America) equipped with a 1.6-liter turbo-four, and a second i30 N hatch powered by a larger, more potent 2.0-liter turbo-four.
“This Nürburgring 24h race provides the ideal test bed for our motorsport-inspired N sub-brand development and a key part of our ‘born at Namyang, honed at Nürburgring’ performance-car ethos. The technological inspiration and experience gained from this extreme testing will accelerate our development of high-performance, fun-to-drive N models,” said Albert Biermann, Hyundai’s head of vehicle test and high performance development.
Dubbed as a development car, the i30 N with the 2.0-liter turbo-four will be used to get “a better understanding of performance technologies” ahead of the N brand’s official launch. Hyundai will use the Nurburgring 24-hour race to perform intense testing by pushing the 2.0-liter turbo-four to its limits. The automaker says that 40 percent of the i30 2.0 Turbo is new thanks to a newly-developed engine and enhanced transmission, suspension, and dampers. Other upgrades include recalibrated steering, wider fenders and larger wheels.
Hyundai originally presented its N performance sub brand in September 2015 as part of the “born in Namyang, honed at Nurburgring” program where engineers have carried out accelerated endurance tests for many years with production cars and now high-performance models. All three vehicles that the automaker has entered for the upcoming Nurburgring 24-Hour endurance race were built by Schuman, a Hyundai dealership that also designs race cars under its motorsport department. Hyundai test driver Bruno Beulen will race the i30 equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo-four and will alternate with Michael Bohrer, Alexander Koeppen, and Rory Pentinnen.