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The Hyundai i30 N hot hatch will race at the Nurburgring

The long-awaited and often-spied Hyundai i30 N hot hatch will race at the Nürburgring 24h later this month. Will it be a Golf GTI fighter?

FOR A WHILE NOW Hyundai has been talking of its new N brand, which seems to be along the same lines as Mercedes’AMG, BMW’s M, Ford’s RS and Audi’s RS.  We have mused on exactly what that might mean for motoring enthusiasts as such brands are sometimes little more than marketing exercises, but it looks like Hyundai is serious.

Albert Biermann, Hyundai Motor Head of Vehicle Test and High Performance Development, said: “This Nürburgring 24h race provides the ideal test bed for our motorsport-inspired N sub-brand development and a key part of our ‘born in 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.”

We like the “fun to drive” bit.

So how different will the i30 N be to a standard car? Quite a bit, if you look at the title photo. Still, a nice body is one thing and it doesn’t mean to say there’s any depth to the vehicle. Hyundai say that “around 40% of the development i30 2.0L Turbo N is new with its newly-developed engine, plus enhanced transmission, suspension, dampers”.

You can see a video of the i30 N’s engine development here. It shows the i30 in a bit of action with rather more wheelspin on takeoff than is ideal.

There’s also a closeup of the engine output which shows 264 ps (metric horsepower), equivalent to 194kW and 309Nm. Whether that’s the peak figures or not is impossible to say but those are healthy power outputs, provided the i30 N is kept nice and light. Hopefully that will be the case, as Hyundai also say that N is about “delivering maximum driving pleasure to true motoring enthusiasts.”

Aside from the i30 N, Hyundai Motor will also race two production-car-based models, i30 1.6L Turbo (#133) and a Veloster (#134). The i30 Turbo will be defending its 2015 class win.

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Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper