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Hyundai’s imminent i30 N hot hatch has entered a new stage of final testing ahead of its global rollout late this year, including an expected Australian launch in November.

The Korean company entered its first proper hot hatch – a rival for the Golf GTI, Civic Type R and Focus ST/RS – in the VLN endurance race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany, last weekend.

Hyundai wasn’t necessarily in it to win it. Instead, it took the opportunity to test a car with technical specifications very close to the final production version, against more modified production-car-based enduro racers.

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Engineers from its South Korea HQ and European R&D centres (one of which is situated at the ‘Ring) will do final honing based on lessons learned.

Hyundai Motor’s head of vehicle test and high performance development Albert Biermann – a former chief at BMW M – explained the rationale.

“We want our high performance brand to have considerable racing pedigree so it is important that we compete with minimal modifications,” he said.

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“Nürburgring is where the i30 N has undergone much of its testing and chassis development.”

The cars that Hyundai Motor entered in the race were both equipped with the production 2.0-litre turbo engine and six-speed manual gearbox.

As they raced the car, Hyundai engineers identified areas of “further refinement and potential performance enhancements” for the i30 N.

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As we know, the i30 N will debut with two models: a 250hp (186kW) model and a 275hp (205kW) performance package variant.

The car will also debut Hyundai’s first ‘E-LSD’ system, an electronically-controlled mechanical limited-slip front differential.

The higher-output model will likely be offered with a firmer suspension tune and a track oriented setup, as we heard from Biermann last year.

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N models will feature unique front and rear elements, along with a larger boot mounted spoiler and side skirts. Unique wheels will round out the package.

The interior comes with upgraded seats that feature extending bolsters and a new steering wheel that offers switchable drive modes. N models appear to also get quad-exhaust pipes and a unique rear diffuser.

It appears that N models will initially launch with a six-speed manual transmission only, to be followed by an eight-speed wet dual-clutch shifter from 2019.

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Pictured: Regular non-N i30 cabin 

Hyundai Motor has its own 3600 square metre testing centre at the Nürburgring. The technical team based in Germany takes advantage of the Nordschleife’s 73 corners, gradients of up to 17 per cent and a difference in altitude of 300 metres.

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