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Hyundai Unveils Highly-Anticipated Peek into N Performance Division Plans

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Hyundai RM16 concept car for N Division

Hyundai RM16 concept car heralds its N Division

Ever since Hyundai shared its intent to create the N performance line, we’ve been eagerly anticipating news of what the Korean brand has in store. The Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year was a sweet concept vehicle, but how would it translate to a production model?

Then in January, updates to the European-marketed i20 Sport were heralded as potential signs of what was in store for the N Division–such as the 1.0-liter Kappa T-GDI three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, lowered suspension, and other performance upgrades.

Finally, concrete details about the N Division have been disclosed, and it sounds promising!

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Hyundai i30N on the Way, Enjoy the RM16 in the Meantime

According to the head of the N Division, Albert Biermann, the first N-badged Hyundai will be a i30N marketed at European consumers. This N-version of the i30 (which is known in the United States as the Elantra GT) will be a snazzy hatchback with extra performance in its pocket. The automaker created and ran an i30N prototype in the Nürburgring 24 Hours race recently as a preview. Word is that the engine it touted will be the same as the production version’s: a 2.0-liter turbocharged block with FWD and a six-speed manual gearbox–among plenty of other athletic upgrades.

After the i30N hits next year, it will be followed by two other unnamed N models with at least one of them coming to the US market.

In the meantime, Hyundai also presented another concept car for the N line at the Busan International Motor Show. The Racing Midship (RM) Project, which has been refining the brand’s performance technologies since 2012, has presented the RM16 named the 2016 year. It and previous RM concept models are considered a “rolling lab” for Hyundai’s R&D for its N cars. The sport-oriented RM16’s light weight, low stance, and aerodynamics will all be recognizable in future N models.

Don’t expect these models to be the highest-performing on the market once they’re released. They know their intent is fun, affordable driving, so their sporty engineering is more about experience than numbers. As Biermann explained, “This won’t be the most powerful car in its class or necessarily have the fastest lap times at particular circuits. The N brand is all about driving fun and maximum horsepower is not the key element for this.”

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Sources: Hyundai, Car and Driver