It's not like the i30N would have had a chance at taking the title anyways.
Hyundai’s N division has had a slow start to say the least. Its coming out party was last year and since then not a whole hell of a lot has happened. We have seen spy shots of the i30N out testing (seen here is the RN30 concept) and heard its little engine roar out on the track. But that’s it. N will eventually debut its first car, but when said car debuts do not expect it to challenge for a Nurburgring record. That’s the word coming from Autocar, which spoke to the South Korean automaker about its upcoming hot hatch.
A Hyundai spokesman told the British outlet that the i30N was more about driver experience than straight performance. Hyundai UK’s CEO, Tony Whitehorn, followed up by saying that, “It’s got to be a halo vehicle. Our brand has moved from being a budget brand to a mainstream one. What we now need to do is add personality. N is the brand to do it with and now is the right time to do it,” he said. The world is a better place when more cars try and set Nurburgring lap records, but the fact that Hyundai is passing up a shot to snatch the crown for fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Green Hell isn’t all that surprising. For one, the i30N might not be powerful enough to even seriously challenge for the title.
The i30N is expected to be less powerful than the FWD Honda Civic Type R; it’s expected to have between 240-260 horsepower. It’ll also be less powerful than the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R, both of which have all-wheel drive. The good news for Hyundai is that racing and lap records don’t matter nearly as much to consumers as they used to. The bad news is that it's not a good look for a performance sub-brand when its first vehicle is ducking lap time challenges.