Model will follow the i30N hot hatch; performance division is also open to using hybrid and electric powertrains in the future

Hyundai's N performance sub-brand will reveal a new hot model in 2018, following the launch of its first, the i30N, later this year.

Speaking at the reveal of the Hyundai Kona in South Korea, head of the firm’s vehicle testing and high-performance development Albert Biermann confirmed the second N model is due next year.

Hyundai Ioniq hybrid autonomous- first ride

No details have been released, but Hyundai has previously hinted at the prospect of a four-wheel drive Ford Focus RS rival with its 375bhp RN30 concept of 2016.

Joonhong Park, the head of Hyundai’s high-performance vehicle development centre, explained that N would only cherry-pick the most appropriate models from the Hyundai range.

“There is no plan to have an N model for every Hyundai,” he said, “[although] we have a road map for the next few years to come”.

Hyundai Kona prototype review

The division is not currently planning on integrating its hybrid, full electric and fuel cell powertrain technologies into a performance model, but Biermann admitted that market trends would likely encourage such a shift the near future.

“Hyundai has technology of every type - hybrid, plug in hybrid, EV, fuel cell,” he said. “Right now there's no plan to bring that tech to N, but when the time comes, whether that's because the customer requests it or we think there's a moment or a need by regulation, we will be ready to have a sustainable high-performance car.”

Biermann cited emotion and character as a key reason for the N brand’s hesitation to use its alternative powertrains in the very short term. He said: “I could eventually see a more emotional EV performance car. But for me, it's hard to imagine a performance car without an engine - although maybe that's me getting old.”

Hyundai N’s first model, the i30N, is due for market launch later this year. The hot hatch will go head to head with the likes of the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Reporting by James Attwood

Our Verdict

Hyundai i30 Turbo

Can the second-generation Hyundai i30 challenge for class honours?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week