Ladies and gentlemen of the United Kingdom, allow us to present the juiciest piece of forbidden fruit you’re likely to see all year. It’s the Hyundai i30 N Project C, and it won’t be coming here. No, I’m not crying - there’s just something in my eye, OK?
Building upon the already sensational i30 N - a surprise world-beating hot hatch - it’s lighter, lower and angrier than before. Hyundai is clearly proud of it, as the company has named it after the ‘Area C’ test track found in its Namyang R&D base.
Power from the turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four is unchanged at 271bhp, but it now has 50kg less car to propel. The forged OZ wheels are the biggest single contributor to the crash diet, dropping the overall figure and also unsprung mass by 22kg. Although Pirelli Trofeo Rs are available on Hyundai’s N Option accessories list, the 19-inch wheels here are fitted with the same bespoke P Zeroes as the standard i30 N.
A carbonfibre-reinforced plastic bonnet is responsible for a 7.2kg reduction, while the CFRP side skirts, front splitter and integrated rear diffuser account for a combined 1.5kg loss. A pair of Sabelt CFRP-backed seats help the N Option help the Project C lose a further 7.5kg.
The i30 N’s dampers have been retained but recalibrated, combined with shorter, stiffer springs that drop the ride height by 6mm. The rear wheel knuckles are new too, made from aluminium rather than steel. They trim 4.66kg from the Project C.
Inside, you’ll find - along with those Sabelt seats - reams of Alcantara, and some eye-catching splashes of yellow.
Production is limited to 600 units, all of which are going to continental European customers, with 500 reserved for the German market. It costs €43,000, which is €10,000 more than an i30 N Performance. All will be finished in matte grey.