There must have been the temptation to give the I30 N - Hyundai’s first hot hatch - a silly, 300bhp+ power figure. Perhaps make a limited-run, stripped out version on sticky tyres. And send it around the Nurburgring to chase after the Honda Civic Type R’s Nurburgring record. But the Korean firm’s newly established N offshoot wants to do things differently.
Talking to Road and Track at the Detroit Auto Show, N boss Albert Biermann - formerly of BMW’s M Division - insisted the fresh performance brand is more interested in producing cars for fun rather than out-and-out-capability.
“If you’re going for lap times, the aero settings are different, the suspension setting is different…it’s not as enjoyable,” he said.
Not terribly surprising - Hyundai likes to make a big deal about what it refers to as a “BPM not RPM” approach. But Biermann went much further in his comments, having a pop at the concept of Nurburgring lap records. “There are companies that spend like five months at the Nurburgring, with tons of people. For that amount [of money] we can almost develop a whole car. It’s just a waste of time,” he said.
It also turns out Hyundai N might have come out with something more potent for its first car than the I30 N. And there could yet be something pokier to come from N. “We had prototype cars with more powerful engines and all-wheel drive and all kinds of stuff,” Biermann said, before adding, “Is there room for a higher level? We need to learn with this car first.”