Hyundai has confirmed to a group of Australian journalists that the company has commenced working on a 280kW hot hatch set to rival the likes of Ford’s Focus RS, Audi’s RS 3 and Meredes-AMG’s A45 in terms of power and torque.
Hyundai head of vehicle test and high performance development, Albert Biermann told CarAdvice that he has already driven a road going prototype version of the brand’s RN30 concept vehicle and he is very impressed.
“We have a test car, with exactly that performance and all-wheel drive, an e-LSD and all this stuff…this is just an advanced prototype and it’s not close to mass production [at this stage],” said Biermann.
“We have cars testing already at Namyang [Hyundai’s Korean proving ground] with that technology in there.”
If the RN30 concept is anything to go by, this car will use a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 280kW of power and 451Nm of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch wet type gearbox that uses an electronic limited slip differential to distribute torque.
This type of car would really send the wind up the likes of Ford with the Focus RS and even pose a threat to Volkswagen’s flagship, the Golf R.
While Biermann was excited about the thought of this vehicle, he stressed that the brand first needed to get the N Performance word out there before launching into a fully-fledged hot hatch.
“Such a high powered car, I think this is just too much to put this out now. I think first we need to grow some base with an i30 N car and we will have two levels, like a base and a more track oriented performance package car,” Biermann said.
“Then we need to see how is this going. How is our sales force, how are our dealers, our customers, how is the demand going. If this is really growing fast, we are ready to provide more. We cannot go to 0-100 like this, it doesn’t work.”
Either way, we’re excited to see where this takes the Hyundai brand, given Biermann was most recently the vice president of BMW M engineering, a role which saw him develop cars like the M2, M3 and M4, along with manic SUVs like the X5 and X6M.
Do you think Hyundai has what it takes to take on the performance hatch world?