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Hyundai Has Built The Ultimate Hot Hatchback

Reveal / 17 Comments

Only 600 will be made – but none of them are coming to the US, sadly.

The Hyundai i30 N is already a formidable hot hatch, but that hasn't stopped the automaker from giving it a hardcore upgrade. Debuting at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show (although not presented on the first press day), the limited-edition Hyundai i30 N Project C is lighter, lower, and even more extreme than the standard i30 N that debuted in 2017. Compared to the regular i30 N, the Project C is 110 pounds lighter, sits 0.23 inches closer to the ground, and has even more responsive handling.

Contributing to the Project C's weight loss are 19-inch forged OZ racing wheels that shed an impressive 48.5 pounds. The use of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic in the hood sheds an extra 15.8 pounds, while both side sills remove another 1.1 pounds each, and the newly designed integrated rear diffuser saves an extra 0.8 pounds.

via Hyundai
via Hyundai
via Hyundai

In addition, the rear wheel hangers are now made from aluminum instead of steel, which reduces the car's weight by 10.2 pounds, and the stiffer suspension setup and tweaked dampers lower the center of gravity by 0.3 inches to improve the handling. Inside, Hyundai has added Sabelt competition front bucket seats with CFRP backings, which also removes an extra 16.5 pounds while also providing greater lateral support. Alcantara highlights have also been added around the steering wheel, handbrake and manual shift lever, and seat stitching and seat belts are colored in Deep Orange to match the brake calipers.

As for the name, the Project C is named after the 'Area C' high-performance test track at Hyundai Namyang R&D Center and also refers to the automaker's first use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic body parts for a road car. All driving modes have been specifically calibrated for Project C, but the powertrain remains unchanged. Being based on the i30 N Performance Package, the Project C uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 271 horsepower and 279 lb-ft of torque.

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via Hyundai
via Hyundai
via Hyundai

"The i30 N Project C is the next emotional step in following the success of the i30 N, demonstrating that Hyundai is pushing the envelope even more to excite motorsport enthusiasts," said Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor Group's Product Division. "With this limited edition, we have strategically reduced the weight of the car where it can help most, made its overall handling more immediate and optimized its design for even greater performance."

Production of the Hyundai i30 N Project C will be limited to just 600 units, with deliveries starting in select European markets later this year. Sadly, that means the US will be deprived of this hardcore hatchback, but let's hope there will be an equivalent model based on the Veloster N.

via Hyundai
via Hyundai
via Hyundai
via Hyundai

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