With talk of Hyundai’s performance brand - simply called N for the company’s Namyang proving grounds - dating all the way back to late 2013, actual details of N models have been rather limited.
It's no surprise, though, that there are suggestions the next-generation Hyundai i30 (due later this year) will be the first model to gain the N performance treatment.
The N brand has been on a recruiting spree since its inception, with the South Korean brand having hired the former head of BMW’s M Division, Albert Biermann, to head up its own performance division, while the man who designed the Lamborghini Murcielago and Gallardo, Luc Donckerwolke, is working under Peter Schreyer to shape future Hyundai performance designs.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the New York motor show, Hyundai Australia’s public relations manager, Guido Schenken, said future N models will help get the brand to the next stage.
“We think N has great potential to lift the profile of our brand in Australia and attract new customers, we see it as a very exciting opportunity for Hyundai and for Genesis,” Schenken said.
Although there is still no official timing for N product launches, Schenken said more details will become available in the second half of the year - though we should not expect all Hyundai or Genesis models to have a performance derivative, nor would they all be turbocharged or all-wheel drive.
“Timing for the launch of N brand still hasn’t been confirmed, however we will be taking it from the start. We will pick [which N model to take] depending on if there is a business case for Australia and not all models will necessarily be made for right hand drive either," Schenken said.
While the Hyundai i30 N will likely be the first from the newly formed performance division, to take on the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTi and Ford Focus ST, the company’s Genesis luxury brand will likely start its performance model lineup with the upcoming Mercedes-Benz C-Class competitor, the G70.
“As we currently understand, there is a G70 N in development, [but] we don’t know if this car is going to be sedan or coupe or both. We are excited by the prospect of this car, particularly given the potential to develop an engine like the existing 3.3L twin turbo," Schenken said.
In standard trim, the 3.3-litre twin turbo V6 has 270kW of power and 510Nm of torque. It would seem logical that the N version would have power well into the 300kW range with matching increases in torque.
Such a car should also help change the perception of the new luxury brand, according to Hyundai.
“A small sedan has great potential in the Australian market, a small powerful rear-wheel drive with a twin turbo V6 can do wonders in attracting new buyers to the brand," Schenken said.
Expect more Hyundai N news from the New York motor show tomorrow.