Hyundai N to become Korean firm's performance sub-brand and link sporty road cars with the firm's World Rally Championship assault
10 December 2013

Hyundai will launch a series of high-performance road cars under a new sub-brand, called N.

The name has been chosen in reference to the firm's technical centre in Namyang, Korea. The N brand will be based in Alzenau, near Frankfurt, which also acts as the base for Hyundai Motorsport, the company's World Rally Championship team.

The first car to bear the branding will be the 2014 World Rally Car, which is based on the i20 and will start competing in the Monte Carlo Rally next month. 

A range of new performance cars will follow the rally car. Although Hyundai won't be drawn on which of its existing models will spawn N models, it seems logical that the i20 hatchback will receive a performance upgrade to link-in with the rally campaign. Hyundai N is also likely to feature everything from warm hatches to extreme variants.

Michel Nandan, Hyundai Motorsport team principal said: "We will communicate more about N next year. The idea is to use the connection between the research and development centre in Namyang, Korea, and the motorsport division in Alzenau, Germany, to put all the engineering capability into special car models".

Speaking at the launch of the WRC team in Frankfurt, Hyundai Motorsport president Gyoo-Heon Choi said: "This is the start of a new chapter in Hyundai's history, one that we expect to have a positive impact on our brand around the globe."

The new Hyundai N brand is part of the firm's bid to establish more of an emotional link with its customers. It is also part of a new strategy to offer more dynamically focused cars – helped by the creation of a new technical centre at the Nürburgring earlier this year.

As well as wanting to grow its European market share from the current 3.5 per cent to 5 per cent by 2020, Hyundai is targeting improved retention of customers for repeat purchases.

 

Our Verdict

Hyundai i20 2009-2014
The i20 continues Hyundai's impressive development

Hyundai’s i20 is all about quality and value rather than desirability, although a nip and tuck in 2012 has helped

Join the debate

Comments
3

10 December 2013
It's been clear for far too long that Hyundai and Kia compete directly against each other rather than each competing in adjacent market sub-sectors - this may be the first real clue on where the two brands are going under the leadership of Peter Schreyer.

doc

10 December 2013
atleast they should have thought of something orignal...

11 December 2013
Not entirely sure this works

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    5 May 2016
    Peugeot has facelifted its small SUV 2008 for 2016, changing its looks and adding this Puretech 130 GT Line model. We've driven it abroad
  • First Drive
    4 May 2016
    The new Edge SUV is looking to steal sales from BMW and Audi, but has it got enough of an edge to make that happen?
  • First Drive
    3 May 2016
    New entry-level 1.8 TFSI engine takes over from Audi's 2.0 TFSI as the cheapest way into a TT Roadster, but is it necessarily the best choice?
  • First Drive
    3 May 2016
    Audi's SQ7 is silly fast, and makes a silly noise, at a silly price – but contains tech that will prove incredibly influential
  • First Drive
    2 May 2016
    There's lots of work yet to be done, but the Aston Martin DB11's hardware has been signed-off. To experience it, we've driven a prototype