It must be difficult to come up with a new performance brand, now that all the fast-sounding letters have been taken. Anything that sounds like the first letter of a remotely quick suffix has been nabbed.
R and S probably get the best gigs – either together or separately, what with them beginning road, rally, race, sport and so on – through their affiliation with Porsche, Ford and everyone else. However, the GT combo, with or without I, makes a pretty enviable showing, too. Throw in M for motorsport and T for turbo and there’s not a great deal of the fast alphabet remaining.
Oh, there are still letters left over, obviously. Lots of them. But B and H just don’t cut it. W is not a fast-sounding letter, either. Too many syllables. Lexus has put F off limits, E is clean, D is dirty, Z is Nissan and, well, forget the rest. It’s only a wonder no one has gone with an emoji. Audi is closest to taking the inevitable plunge, with the R8 Plus. So maybe we should look forward to the ‘#whoosh’ variant of a mediocre hatchback sometime, or just a peculiar symbol: ‘The performance car formerly known as GTI.’
Anyway, Hyundai has decided to go with N when it launches its performance brand next year. This means its first hot hatchback, the i30N, will arrive sounding for all the world like a mid-range printer.