Europe-only special-edition hot hatch debuts in Frankfurt with lots and lots of carbon, and less weight.
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Hyundai N has revealed its latest creation – the 2020 i30 N Project C – a "lighter, lower, more aggressive version" of the company's first hot hatch.

Limited to just 600 units and exclusive to the European market, the Project C retains the N Performance variant's 202kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine (378Nm on over boost), though gets a slew of aero, cosmetic and mechanical upgrades drawn from last year's i30 N Option concept to shed 50kg from the 'standard' car.

Some of the weight savings are through the extended use of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) for components like the front splitter, rear diffuser, bonnet and N-branded side sills. It's the first time Hyundai has ever used CFRP body parts for a road car, hence the 'C' in Project C. These are complimented by a special matte grey exterior paint.

Also contributing to the lighter weight is the set of forged 19-inch OZ Racing alloy wheels, which alone contribute to 22kg of shed mass. Behind those alloys are Deep Orange brake calipers with N branding.

Under the skin, Hyundai has lowered the Project C by 6mm compared to the i30 N Performance, helping to lower the centre of gravity by 8.8mm via new internal calibrations for the dampers and shorter higher-stiffness suspension springs.

Further weight saving has been made in the rear suspension system, too. Hyundai says the rear wheel hangers, or 'knuckles' – help to shed 4.66kg thanks to their aluminium construction rather than steel.

In addition to the reference to carbon-fibre, 'Project C' also stands for two other things: the company's secret high-performance circuit at its Namyang R&D Center called 'Area C', along with the aforementioned lowered 'centre' of gravity.

Despite standing lower to the ground and larger frontal area, the Project C retains the N Performance's drag coefficient of 0.32. It appears the changes have improved acceleration as well, with Hyundai claiming a 6.0-second 0-100km/h sprint – 0.2 seconds quicker than the N Performance.

Inside, there's an array of Alcantara trimmings and race-inspired appointments, some drawn from the i30 N Option concept from the last year's Paris motor show.

Headlining upgrades include Sabelt bucket seats trimmed in leather/Alcantara combination with Deep Orange highlights, an Alcantara steering wheel, Alcantara handbrake, Alcantara gearstick boot, and a brushed aluminium shifter that's shaped like a piston head.

The Deep Orange accents continue with contrasting stitching throughout the cabin, and the drive mode buttons on the steering wheel, while a limited-edition xx/600 plaque on the passenger side is yet another reminder you're sitting in the limited-edition model.

Patrons can view the i30 N Project C this week at the Frankfurt motor show from September 11, with deliveries to commence in "select markets across Europe" later this year.

Australia

Being exclusive to the European market, don't expect to see the Project C in local showrooms anytime soon.

The 'standard' i30 N Performance starts at $40,490 plus on-road costs for the hatchback and $41,990 before on-roads costs for the Fastback 'coupe'.

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