- Hyundai N is Hyundai Motor’s high-performance sub-brand, which has been developed over many years. The All-New i30 N was based on concepts first introduced in Hyundai Motorsport’s WRC cars.
Hyundai N: born out of WRC
For the last four years, Hyundai Motorsport has participated successfully in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), which is regarded as one of the most challenging and diverse motorsport disciplines. Based in Alzenau, Germany, Hyundai Motorsport was set up to develop a long-term motorsport programme that demonstrates the emotion and engineering which Hyundai puts into its cars.
The WRC is considered the cradle of the N line-up, as Hyundai’s high-performance concepts were first introduced here. During WRC races, cars compete on roads of gravel, tarmac, snow and ice. This allows Hyundai Motor engineers to identify further refinement and potential performance enhancements for its N range.
An N concept car was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. This was the Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo concept, which was created exclusively for PlayStation®’s Gran Turismo video game series. This concept car boasted total power of 884 PS from Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen fuel cell system and an additional super capacitor system.
Hyundai Motor’s first mass-produced high-performance car, the i30 N, was launched earlier this year, having undergone 10,000 km of driving on the Nordschliefe at the Nürburgring circuit for durability testing. The following video demonstrates its racetrack capabilities.
What does Hyundai N mean?
The ‘N’ in Hyundai N stands for Namyang, home to Hyundai Motor’s global R&D Centre in Korea since 1995, where the idea was born, and for the Nürburgring, home to Hyundai Motor’s European Test Centre, where the i30 N was further developed and tested. The close connection between Namyang and the Nürburgring created the foundation for N, aiming to build on the company’s motorsport experience to bring thrilling winding road fun to customers who love cars. The ‘N’ logo itself embodies this idea, as it symbolises a chicane.
Hyundai N’s high-performance technologies are honed at the iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife. Each car taking part in Hyundai Motor’s accelerated durability tests laps the track 420 to 480 times in both dry and wet conditions, simulating up to 180,000 km of severe driving in just four weeks. The Nürburgring racetrack turned 90 this year and, with 73 corners and 20.8 kilometres of tarmac, is considered one of the most challenging in the world. It is also a motorsports complex and home to Hyundai Motor’s own 3,600 square metre testing centre, which is operated by the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center.
Albert Biermann leads the development of Hyundai N models
Hyundai Motor took an important step in 2015 by hiring Albert Biermann, who has a wealth of experience honing the performance and dynamics high-performance road and race cars.
As Executive Vice President High Performance Vehicle Development and Testing, Biermann has used his knowledge and experience of high-performance production cars to spearhead the development of the Hyundai N brand. The first mass production Hyundai N high-performance car, the i30 N, was launched earlier this year, with two more models set to be launched in the near future.
The i30 N: measured in BPM, not RPM
The i30 N has been developed to make the driver’s heart beat faster when he or she gets behind the wheel. Instead of focusing on pure numbers, Hyundai Motor has chosen to emphasise driving pleasure and the emotional impact on the driver’s heartbeats per minute (BPM), rather than simply measuring revs per minute (RPM). When the driver hits the throttle and shifts through the gears, the Rev matching function increases torque and acceleration.
Based on three cornerstones under the theme ‘Fun to Drive’, the i30 N is a Corner Rascal, has proven its Race Track Capability and is an Everyday Sports Car suitable for daily commuting to the city or for race track performance on the weekend. Its design is based on true high-performance vehicles and includes Hyundai’s Cascading Grille at the front, aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers and a new rear spoiler.
The i30 N boasts five drive modes, including Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom settings, which can be selected by using two dedicated buttons on the steering wheel. The different modes change the character of the car, adjusting the high-performance parameters of the vehicle, including its engine, the dampers and rev matching.