Hyundai puts i30 N hot hatch through its paces in 24-hour race

Hyundai has revealed further details on its upcoming i30 N hot hatch, two of which are to be put through their paces in the upcoming Nurburgring 24h race this weekend (27-28 May).

The all-new hot hatch has already undergone thorough testing in Sweden and the UK, and now Hyundai says it is making final tweaks before the gruelling event.

Hyundai has unveiled its racing i30 N ahead of the Nurburgring 24h.

Hyundai i30

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We’re yet to see a road-going version of the i30 N, but if it’s anything like the race variant (pictured) it’ll get a more aggressive look than the standard car.

Taking its inspiration from the RN30 concept we saw at the Paris Motor Show last autumn, beefier bodywork and larger alloy wheels are clearly visible.

Hyundai i30 N Nurburgring

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Hyundai says the first N model will “bring together motorsport experience and high-performance road car development, creating maximum driving enjoyment on the road and on the track in an accessible high-performance car package”.

If it has just half of the RN 30’s 375bhp and 451Nm of torque, we reckon it will manage it. The two near-production i30 N’s we’ll see race will be piloted by engineers from Hyundai’s design centre, and are taking part as “technical experts”.

Hyundai RN rally concept

Official power specs are to be confirmed, but it will get a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s comparable to the Golf GTI and Focus ST in terms of power. It’ll be fitted as standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a slick semi-auto option (similar to Volkswagen’s DSG system) is rumoured to be on the cards, too.

Benefiting from a stiffer chassis than the standard i30, the N will allow “a normal driver to get a sensation similar to that of a racing car” With the ‘N’ logo resembling a chicane, representing the ultimate driving experience on winding roads.

Albert Biermann, head of testing at Hyundai said: “The (UK) road testing serves to check if the driving performance of our first Hyundai N high performance car can meet our future customers’ requirements.

“We have to make sure that on these challenging UK roads the driving performance is also well suited to everyday use. There are plenty of fun and challenging corners out here – the N Team loves corners!”

i30 N being put through its paces in Sweden.

Although the car doesn’t get four-wheel drive from launch, there’s a limited slip differential, adjustable dampers and selectable driving modes which, if they’re any good, means it should be more than capable of putting up a fight against its established European rivals.

Commenting on the testing, Thierry Neuville, world rally championship driver of Hyundai Motorsport said: “The engineers have done a great job on the gearbox and the differential. There is good traction and good stability in the slippery testing conditions.”

Hyundai i30 N track

Alexander Eichler, head of high-performance vehicle test and development at Hyundai’s Technical Centre, outlined the objective for the i30 N: “The main target for us is to ensure driving enjoyment. Symbolising a chicane, the ‘N’ logo embodies this aspect - an agile vehicle that is fun to drive.”

We can expect to see the i30 N in the flesh at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. We have no idea how much we can expect it to be, but if it’s like most Hyundai cars it should prove good value and marginally undercut its rivals.

Can’t wait for an i30 N? You can check out personal lease deals on the all-new i30 hatchback here.

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