Americans Are About To Get A Taste Of Hyundai's N Performance Brand


With a bargain priced competitor, the Ford Focus RS may need to start worrying.

Hyundai has been hungry to gobble up more US sales, and to entice more Americans to get into its cars the South Korean automaker is going after the enthusiasts first. A few months ago we learned that Hyundai had poached an executive from Lamborghini and then mentioned that it would be building a supercar under its upscale Genesis brand. All of this is sure to please wealthier car collectors who want a fresh face to add to their supercar garages, but the real target of this move is the everyday car shopper.

With a supercar at the top of the pack, Hyundai is hoping that the public will start to see the brand as a serious contender, especially at the luxury level where the profits are. However, it seems that Hyundai will gain respect by climbing up to the supercar level in small steps rather than one big leap. To do this, it will put its money where its mouth is and bring the N performance brand to life. The first car to get the treatment is the i30 hatchback, which will not be wading to American shores anytime in the foreseeable future. The cars that will make it here are still a secret, but N division head Albert Biermann suggested to Car and Driver that these cars may be a coupe and a sedan. Unfortunately, they won't be BMW M4 fighters like we previously thought.

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Both would likely get the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from the i30N, where it will spin the front wheels with 250 horsepower of grunt to quiet the haters. A dual-clutch automatic is the likely to be the officiant that marries the engine to the wheels, and like any purist we hope a manual will be thrown into that mix. It may be needed after all, because Biermann mentioned that the the N brand may want to compete with the likes of the Ford Focus RS some day. Don't worry about waiting too long for a cheap performance machine because these cars will be released in close proximity to each other, with the first of the two making a debut six or seven months after the i30N and the second one following hot on its heels.

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