Our prayers have been answered.
Hyundai's N performance sub-brand has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. Nobody expected the Hyundai Veloster N to be a serious competitor to established hot hatches like the Honda Civic Type R. It's a true driver's car in every sense, so the prospect of Hyundai's performance division making a dedicated model is very exciting.
After months of rumors, Hyundai has finally answered our prayers and given a standalone flagship sports car from its N performance division the green light. Thomas Schemera, Hyundai's Executive Vice President High Performance Vehicles & Motorsport Division, confirmed the news to AutoRAI.nl.
"Behind the scenes, we are working hard on a 'halo model' – as a flagship model for the N brand", he said. "This is going to be a great machine, something nobody expects from Hyundai, something really exotic."
The exec added that the design and engineering is likely to mimic the Hyundai RN30 Concept that debuted at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. "Whether it will be a limited edition or not, we can unfortunately neither confirm nor deny", Schemera added. "In any case, it will be a car in the super sports segment. Think of the Hyundai RM16 and you have a bit of an idea of what is possible."
Following internal debates within the company, Hyundai's new halo car will be a two-seat sports car rather than a high-performance sedan like the Kia Stinger and Genesis G70.
The executive couldn't confirm the new halo car's power source, but it's likely to be an upgraded version of the company's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that pumps out 275 hp in the i30 N. The same unit delivered 380 hp in the RN30 Concept, so the future flagship could have over 400 hp on tap.
Schemera also confirmed in the interview that Hyundai N will rely on electrification in the near future, and even teased the possibility of an all-electric model. "The N-label also applies excellently to a fully electric car", he said. "We have all the technology in-house to come up with appropriate answers that match the market situation and demand."
A performance-focused i20 N and Kona N are also being considered, but haven't been given the green light for production yet. Exciting times are ahead for Hyundai, and we couldn't be happier.