Hyundai's performance aspirations are clear: the Korean automaker wants its newly created N sub-brand to take on the mainstream performance marques. Already confirmed, the first N performance model will be based on the Volkswagen Golf-rivaling i30 hatchback (known as the Elantra GT in the United States), and now we know what it sounds like.
Aimed at taking on mid-range mainstream performance models like the Volkswagen GTI, Honda Civic Si, and Ford Focus ST, the i30 N will be powered by a turbocharged inline-4 thought to be delivering 246 horsepower in standard guise and 271 hp in a more hardcore, track-focused version. Drive will be to the front wheels only.
The team developing the i30 N is led by former BMW M engineering boss Albert Biermann. Work on the car has been ongoing for quite some time and one of the development mules even raced in the 2016 Nürburgring 24 Hours. That car finished 90th overall.
We'll see the i30 N for the first time at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show this September. Unfortunately, the car isn't expected to be sold in the U.S. Instead, we're expected to receive a spicier version of the related Elantra sedan.
And for those wondering why Hyundai's new performance division is named "N," the letter represents the Korean automaker's Namyang R&D center located in Hwaseong, Korea. It's also a tribute to the Nürburgring where much of the development work for N models will take place.