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Hyundai's first N-performance car is hidden under the RN30 concept

3 October 2016 - Autoblog

Hyundai RN30 concept

Hyundai is moving ever closer to revealing their first high-performance N brand car, and the RN30 is the latest step in that direction.

The concept is based on the new i30 hatchback, which was also revealed in Paris, and shares the engine that will power the i30N that comes out next year.

It's obvious that the RN30 isn't a stock car, although the engine is closer to reality than the wild bodywork. The basic block will power the i30's fast sibling, but the rest of the four-cylinder has been given the racing treatment. A bigger turbo and forged internals combine to create 375 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels. It also comes with an electronic limited slip differential and a dual-clutch transmission. Don't count on this powertrain coming to market, despite how cool it would be to see a South Korean Focus RS. However, it is a sign the i30N will have a potent foundation.

Draped around the powertrain is a race-ready body that is 30 mm wider and 84 mm shorter than the standard i30 and comes with all the requisite vents, wings, and diffusers. Bucking convention, this car not have carbon fiber body panels. For weight savings, Hyundai enlisted the help of BASF to craft some new lightweight plastics for the car. To save more weight, Hyundai gutted the interior down to the bare necessities. Whatever was left was then moved as low as possible, including the seats, to bring down the center of gravity.

Although almost everything about the RN30 is about going faster, not all of it is. Or at least not directly. In classic concept car fashion, the RN30 still gets at least one gimmicky feature. On the interior side of each A-pillar is a camera mounted in an image-stabilizing gimbal, and in the top fin, there is another forward facing camera. Hyundai says these record the car on track and the driver, with the idea being that the driver can cut together video of a track day to share with friends.

As previously mentioned, don't expect to see the production i30N to pack this much power when it hits the road next year. However, if it comes even remotely close to the performance of this concept, it should be a very entertaining hot hatch. Odds are good that it will come to the US as well, since the i30 will arrive here next spring as the Elantra GT.

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