The new Hyundai N performance division’s first model will be a hotted-up version of the recently revealed i30, which we'll most likely see next March at the 2017 Geneva auto show. The i30 is a hatchback related to the latest Elantra and is expected in the United States as the replacement for our Elantra GT.
Unfortunately, the hotted-up version, likely to be called an i30 N in most markets, won’t be sold here. That’s the word of Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann.
Speaking with Car and Driver, the former BMW M engineer said the U.S., along with Korea, would receive another model as the first offering from Hyundai N. He didn’t elaborate on what the model would be but Car and Driver speculates it will be a hotted-up version of the Elantra, since the i30 and Elantra share much of their internals.
Note, Hyundai has just announced an Elantra Sport with 200 horsepower on tap. However, a Hyundai N version of the compact sedan would likely get the tuner’s new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 which is estimated to deliver at least 260 hp initially. This engine will make its debut in the i30 N.
While the i30 N will compete with the front-wheel-drive Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] Focus ST, Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen GTI, there have been rumors of a more extreme version to target the all-wheel-drive Focus RS and Golf R. Hyundai hinted at just such a car with its RN30 concept unveiled during September’s 2016 Paris auto show. Biermann confirmed to Car and Driver that development on the more extreme car is ongoing but production is yet to be approved.