Similar to Nissan's Nismo tuning division and Volvo's Polestar, the Hyundai N brand will be linked directly to the company’s renewed involvement in WRC, taking the learnings from its motorsport program to its production cars.
While Hyundai has not revealed which models will get special attention from the N division, the Veloster Turbo and next-generation Genesis Coupe appear obvious early targets for motorsport-inspired performance enhancements. It may also extend to less naturally performance-oriented models, such as the city-sized i20 that forms the basis of its rally challenger.
The N division takes inspiration from Hyundai’s Namyang research and development centre in South Korea, which has collaborated with Hyundai Motorsport on the development of the i20 WRC car, and is at the heart of the brand’s production car technology and innovation.
Hyundai is expected to fine tune its N performance models at its new test centre at the Nurburgring in Germany, which officially opened its doors in September.
The car maker also announced Australian rally driver Chris Atkinson will drive for the Hyundai Motorsport team at Rally Australia in September.
Atkinson – who has been out of a full-time drive since the end of 2008 – has been an official test driver for Hyundai Motorsport this year in preparation for the team’s 2014 return to WRC.
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