There's no disputing the Hyundai range has been transformed in recent times, with models now covering a wide range of applications and budgets. However, there hasn't really been what could be called a performance model so far, but that's definitely not going to be the case much longer. That's because the South Korean manufacturer's first "N" model, the i30 N, is now being put through its final testing.
After recently undergoing mandatory winter testing in Sweden with Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Championship driver Thierry Neuville at the wheel, the i30 N has now finished its testing program on some of the UK's most challenging roads.
Although there is still a way to go before the i30 N is ready to go on sale, the completion of this important segment of pre-release testing in the UK represents a significant step closer for this exciting new addition to the Hyundai family.
The i30 N will be the first car from Hyundai to wear its new "N" logo, which is the Korean automaker's answer to the likes of Ford's ST, Nissan's NISMO and Vauxhall's VXR performance variants. For those who are curious about such things, the "N" stands for Namyang, which is Hyundai's global R&D center, but it also stands for Nürburgring, which is without doubt one of the most demanding race tracks in the world and also home to Hyundai Motor's European Test Centre.
Albert Biermann, Executive Vice President and Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development at Hyundai Motor Company, said of the car, "We are getting closer and closer to the final development stage of the i30 N. The road testing serves to check if the driving performance can meet our future customers' requirements. We have to make sure that on these challenging UK roads the driving performance is also well suited to everyday use."
Although it's obviously based on the new-generation Hyundai i30, the i30 N is being developed from the ground up to offer the maximum amount of fun when driving on the road or on the track. At the end of this month, two close-to-production i30 N models will take part in the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. Both cars will feature a 2.0-liter turbo engine and six-speed manual transmission, which is the same set-up being used in production versions of the i30 N that are expected to go on sale in the summer.