Albert Biermann left BMW M in 2014 to join Hyundai’s performance division, and his team’s work is finally about to become unveiled. The i30 (or Elantra GT in North America) will be the first car to get a high-performance variant. Hyundai has also announced that it will enter three vehicles in the Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race, with one of them being a development prototype called the i30 2.0T featuring performance upgrades made by the N performance division.
Hyundai will also be entering the Veloster Turbo and an i30 1.6 Turbo, the defending champion after winning its class last year. The i30 N will most likely be rocking a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine under its hood, and will have a top speed of 155 mph. However, it may be offered with a special package coming with a boost in engine output as well as small performance improvements on the track.
Biermann has said that the car should be relatively affordable, since affordability is definitely in the N division’s focus. It will come with a manual gearbox standardly, with an automatic version arriving a year later. Biermann has also indicated that an all-wheel drive option may be possible as one of the future variants, and that Hyundai will be attempting to venture into different the global markets with its N division, hopefully including the U.S. Once it comes out, the i30 N will most definitely rival competitors like the Ford Focus ST and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The i30 2.0T development car being raced at the Nurburgring 24 Hours will contain a more advanced engine compared to the standard i30 (2.0-liter turbo-four), able to put out around 259 hp and up to 227 lb-ft of torque. Additional changes include upgraded suspension, dampers and steerings, as well as wider bumpers which will not only make the car more aggressive but also track ready.