Hyundai N will become Korea's first high-performance brand.
Hyundai has announced a new "N" sub-brand under which it will launch a series of new high-performance cars. Taken from Namyang – the location of Hyundai's Korean R&D center and where the carmaker's motorsport team started – the N brand will be based in Alzenau, near Frankfurt, Germany, with the road cars to be built alongside its new i20 WRC rally team at the brand's new motorsport facility. The first model to wear the "N" will be the i20-based 2014 WRC car.
New performance cars will eventually become part of the sub-brand, initially with above normal performance, while extreme variants of existing models will come later down the road. Hyundai Motorsport president Gyoo-Heon Choi said: "This is the start of a new chapter in Hyundai's history, one that we expect to have a positive impact on our brand around the globe." Michel Nandan, Hyundai Motorsport team principal said: "We will communicate more about N next year. The idea is to use the connection between the research and development center in Namyang and the motorsport division in Alzenau, Germany, to put all the engineering capability into special car models."
"N" models will be focused on the European market to begin with, where Hyundai aims to expand its market share from 3.5 to five percent by 2020. Its "Product Moment 2017" plan will see 22 new products and derivatives rolled out over the next four years.