Car News

Hyundai builds 300kW iMax N – no joke

It started as an April Fool’s joke, but nobody’s laughing now.

Hyundai Australia has unveiled a track-ready iMax N it’s nicknamed the ‘Drift Bus’. And it will be on track this weekend at the World Time Attack Challenge in Sydney, doing hot laps, drag races and drifting. 

Hyundai said they were inspired to build this one-off creation by their German colleagues, who posted computer-generated images of an iMax N earlier this year, and decided to build a real-life version in the “spirit of N.”

Unlike previous track-spec vans, such as the Ford Transit Supervan and the Renault Espace F1 that mid-mounted the engine at the expense of the seats, Hyundai has retained the eight-seater layout. So practical.

Under the bonnet, the regular iMax 125kW 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine has been swapped for a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 with a claimed 300kW of power and 550Nm of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and breathes through a bi-modal exhaust.

Like the standard iMax it’s rear-wheel drive but with more grunt the iMax N lives up to its ‘Drift Bus’ nickname, as demonstrated in Hyundai’s promotional video that shows it drifting and sliding around a racetrack.

It rides on 19-inch alloy wheels borrowed from an i30 N and features N performance braking hardware for improved stopping power. It also gets a bespoke aerodynamic body kit, so it looks the part, with a front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser and rear spoiler. It has also been painted in trademark N Performance blue.

Inside the eight-seats are all trimmed in the same dark suede and leather you get in an i30 N, as well as N sport steering wheel. Hyundai proudly claims it still has the original 842-litre boot, enough for your pit crew and track tyres according to the company.

While not set for production and not road legal, it’s a fully functional track car and to prove it Hyundai has entered in three events at this weekend’s World Time Attack event at Sydney Motorsport Park. It will run in the Time Attack Clubsprint class (alongside the previously revealed i30 Fastback N entry), the Flying 500 drag demonstration as well as the International Drift Cup.

Hyundai Germany better be careful what it jokes about next April Fool’s Day….


Stephen Ottley

Stephen Ottley