An all-wheel-drive Hyundai with over 300 hp? Count us intrigued!
In a relatively short short period of time Hyundai's has quietly established itself in the hot hatch segment. Okay, so the asymmetric Veloster Turbo was a bit of a miss, but the "why didn't you sell it to us as the flagship Elantra GT, Hyundai?" i30 Turbo is an objectively good car. There are high hopes for the Focus ST-rivaling i30 N that's due in 2017. However, as Autocar has now revealed, Hyundai's got far bigger ambitions for its upcoming family of i30-based hot hatchback models. Just what are the South Koreans up to?
Though plans aren't officially in motion just yet, Albert Biermann (Hyundai's Head of vehicle test and high performance development) indicated that the company had indeed been looking at the possibility of bringing an i30 mega hot hatch to market some day. According to Biermann, how early we see this uber i30 N emerge depends on "how we [Hyundai] grow" in the near future. So, if you really want to see what a a properly quick Hyundai hot hatch will look like, you're gonna have to pray the i30 N is a sales hit. What Biermann did reveal, though, was that this future vehicle will, should it reach production, require all-wheel drive. AWD has been fitted on performance hatchbacks that don't have Focus RS or Mercedes-AMG A45 levels of power.
Honda has proven you can have a hot hatch making over 300 hp with FWD. But the fact Biermann's saying Hyundai will only use all-wheel drive on the halo model, he confirmed in the same interview that the regular i30 N will never be offered with all-wheel drive, does imply that there'll be serious power in whatever this mega i30 is called. Which, if it won't be showroom-ready for a good few years, means we could see this i30 range-topper packing the kind of punch that only comes with outputs higher than 350 hp. Fingers crossed Hyundai gives such an i30 the green light.