The Korean automaker no longer wants to be in the minor leagues.
In order to prove that it’s ready to expand its lineup to appease to buyers outside of the entry-level car and SUV market, Hyundai has been letting the letter N bounce around the audience halls at any of its recent reveals. As we’d expect, the Paris Auto Show is no different. This time however, instead of presenting its i30 N with a souped-up engine, it went balls to the wall with a slammed concept - the RN30 - that appears armed and ready for the rally track. Yes, our AWD Hyundai hot hatch is finally here.
The naughty hot-hatch name comes sporting a tuned 2.0-liter four-banger with an enlarged turbo and forged internals so that it can make 374 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, or enough to match Mercedes’ impressive M133 engine from the GLA45 AMG. Those will come shrieking out the tailpipe after making a power delivery to all four wheels thanks to a wet clutch DCT. Making matters worse (for opponents) is an electronic torque-vectoring differential, which should only add to the cornering capabilities supplied by the low center of gravity. Weight saving innovation makes its way inside to milk out extra Gs of turning force and allow the not so modest horsepower budget to get more bang for buck.
Instead of carbon fiber reinforced polymer, Hyundai engineers teamed up with high-tech chemical company BASF to make weight saving high performance plastic materials. With all that bite under the metal, it’s a good thing it has the bark of a rally cross killer too. The 19” wheels fill up the fenders and are the only areas where the charcoal lip gets a pause. Ingress and egress are events of their own thanks to butterfly doors. Meanwhile the body kit, in our eyes, gives a slight nod to the BMW CSL Hommage Concept. The RN30 also comes ready for a Gymkhana video shoot by sporting two gimbal cameras, one in each A-pillar. Of course, this is a concept and in the off chance it makes production, alterations are likely. Still, it gives us more reason to be excited about the i30 N.