Hyundai i30 N survives 24 Hours Nürburgring race

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Motorsport provides a fun, challenging and highly-visible avenue for car development, and it’s a well-worn path Hyundai has taken for the first model from its recently-established N division.

That first model is the i30 N, a high-performance version of the Golf-rivaling i30 hatchback. Sadly, while the regular i30 is headed here as the Elantra GT, we’ve heard that the i30 N won’t make it over. That’s a shame because the car looks to be quite the convincing hot hatch.

Hyundai entered two virtually production-ready examples in the 2017 24 Hours of Nürburgring this past weekend. The cars were entered in the SP3T class for production-based cars with turbocharged engines displacing between 1.6 and 2.0 liters, and both made it across the finish line.

2018 Hyundai i30 N races in the 2017 24 Hours Nürburgring

2018 Hyundai i30 N races in the 2017 24 Hours Nürburgring

Together, they completed 244 laps which equates to roughly 3,700 miles on one of the most punishing race tracks in the world. Out of 160 cars that started the race, 51 failed to finished.

The best performance was the No. 92 i30 N which finished 4th in class and 50th overall. It also managed to finish 135 laps versus the No. 95 i30 N’s 92 laps.

The cars were both equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, 6-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive—the same configuration to be used in the production model. Most of the modifications made to the cars were in the area of safety, though there racing tires and brakes fitted for improved grip. There were also some aero mods added to improve downforce.

2018 Hyundai i30 N races in the 2017 24 Hours Nürburgring

2018 Hyundai i30 N races in the 2017 24 Hours Nürburgring

We’re still waiting to learn the final specs but leaked information suggests the production model will come in two guises, offering 246 and 271 horsepower, respectively. And only the 6-speed manual will be available at launch but an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission will eventually be offered.

The i30 N will make its world debut in September at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show.

The overall winner of this year’s 24 Hours Nürburgring was the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS race car fielded by Audi Sport Team Land. Second place went to the No. 98 BMW M6 GT3 fielded by Rowe Racing and third went to the No. 9 Audi R8 LMS fielded by Audi Sport Team WRT.

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