- The new i30 N has created huge excitement since its unveiling. Hyundai Motor Europe's Raf Van Nuffel offers an exclusive look behind the scenes.
Hyundai Motor recently unveiled its first high-performance car under the N line up, the i30 N, at a special event in the German city of Düsseldorf. Developed from the ground up to deliver maximum driving pleasure on the road as well as on the track, it instantly generated a lot of excitement amongst the motoring media and enthusiasts – so much so, in fact, that the first edition offered exclusively by Hyundai Motor Deutschland sold out in just two days
If you missed coverage of the event, don't worry: Raf Van Nuffel, Head of Product Marketing and Pricing at Hyundai Motor Europe, was on hand to make a helpful video review. In it, he talks in depth about the origins of the i30 N, its main features and the elements that ensure it puts a smile on every drivers’ face.
The meaning of N
The i30 was announced as the first car released under Huyundai’s high-performance N line up, but why this letter and not the usual GT or GTI that other manufacturers go with? Well, the N stands for both ‘Namyang’, Hyundai Motor’s global R&D Centre in Korea where the i30 N was born, and for ‘Nürburgring’, one of the most challenging race tracks in the world and the place where the i30 N was honed to perfection.
The N also symbolises the shape of a chicane – important for a car whose number one priority is to be fun to drive. It was designed to make drivers smile and to make their heart beat faster, and what better feeling is there in motoring than when driving at speed through a series of sharp corners?
For us, the BPM of the driver is as important as the RPM of the engine.Raf Van Nuffel
The three cornerstones
The i30 N was developed around three cornerstones: to corner as fast as possible; to be a sports car for everyday use; and finally to have racetrack capability. The first is achieved through maximum grip from the 18-inch Michelin or 19-inch Pirelli high-performance Hyundai N tyres, rack-mounted power steering, dedicated suspension and tuning that optimises stability and provides ultimate precision when cornering, and from a stance that’s up to nine millimetres lower than the standard i30.
Five drive modes, including Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom settings make the i30 N a sports car that’s suitable for everyday use, with all the connectivity and safety features of the normal i30 range. For track capability, the N Corner Carving Differential enhances grip and delivers maximum power to the road, while the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can be switched off completely to give the driver total freedom.
For the first time in a Hyundai vehicle, if you switch the ESC off, it is really off and everything is down to the driver.Raf Van Nuffel
A new look
Part of the i30 range, the i30 N sports its own unique design. This incorporates features such as an enlarged Cascading Grille that provides more air cooling to the engine and brakes, aggressive front and rear bumpers with larger air intakes and red character line, an aerodynamic rear spoiler with triangular brake light, and a dual muffler exhaust. The interior has also been enhanced with a dedicated cluster, the unique N steering wheel and new sports seats.
With the i3 N, we are very confident we have a car that is very fun to drive but also really nice to look at.Raf Van Nuffel