Hyundai has the hardware to build the RN30 Focus RS and A45 AMG super hot hatch rival, but needs to make i30N a success first.
Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann admitted to Australian media this week that his team is testing a prototype with the RN30 concept’s 279.5kW/451Nm 2.0-litre turbo four at their Nurburgring test centre right now. They’re also testing its eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive system, but the combination won’t be reaching a new car showroom any time soon.
“I think such a high-powered car [as the RN30] is just too much to put out now. I think first we need to grow some base with the i30N car.
“That is not on the utmost level of high performance segment, so that is some mid area of high performance in the C-segment.”
The brand is reasonably confident of the i30N’s success.
He is referring to the Golf GTI-rivalling 192-195kW front-drive i30N hot hatch we’re expecting to see in the next 12 months, a model carefully chosen to launch the N brand for the road.
“Then we need to see how is this going. How is our our sales, our dealers, our customers, how is the demand going. If this is really growing fast, that is a good indication then of course we are ready to provide more. But we cannot go from 0-100 like this, that doesn’t work normally. So we better go step by step and closely see what’s going on, and then we make the next steps.”
The fact that Hyundai is already spending enough development money for it to reach a driveable prototype stage suggests the brand is reasonably confident of the i30N’s success, and is preparing to pull the trigger on a road-going alternative to the Focus RS and A45 AMG.
Given the i30N is still about a year off though, we’d be surprised if a circa-280kW Hyundai hot hatch reached production before 2019. Here’s hoping it does, however.