If done right the N brand could be a hit!
When Hyundai announced that it wanted to create an N performance brand, we were more than a bit skeptical. We actually called the N brand a joke and so far we haven't been proven wrong. As of now, the N brand hasn't built a single production-ready model. Even the concept cars like the 2025 Vision Gran Turismo weren't made with production in mind. Hyundai is already busy trying to build up the Genesis brand of vehicles, so it may be a while before any N models take shape. However, we have a plan to help these future N models succeed.
As of now, the Genesis brand has only showed off one production model. The Genesis G90 has a lot of responsibility. Not only does this car have to replace the Hyundai Equus, but it is also tasked with cementing the Genesis brand as a rival to Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura. The smaller G80 model will replace the Hyundai Genesis and go up against models like the BMW 5 Series and Lexus GS. The Genesis brand will also get a 3 Series fighter called the G70. Using these two upcoming models as a base, we will lay out our plans to make Hyundai's N brand a total success. Basically we will try to copy BMW's M division, but not in the way you would expect.
Unlike AMG and Lexus F, we would not be caught up in the ridiculous horsepower wars. Instead, we would focus on what used to make BMW M cars special. Many people have been complaining that M cars are starting to lose purity. You don't have to look much further than models like the X5M to realize that cars like the E30 M3 just aren't being built anymore. Sure the M2 is a nice return to form, but even that car isn't perfect. Hyundai doesn't have any problems making powerful cars. The new Genesis G90 will come with an all-new 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 365 hp. You can also get a 5.0-liter V8 with 420 horsepower. Clearly power is not an issue for upcoming Genesis cars.
Rather than focusing on upping horsepower to 600, we would focus on things like steering and suspension. BMW's E39 M5 is revered as one of the greatest driving sedans ever made. The E39's V8 produced 394 horsepower, which is less than the V8 in the new Genesis models. However, power isn't everything. The E39 had unrivaled driving characteristics that even the modern M5 can't seem to match. If we were in charge of Hyundai's N division, we would focus on trying to go back in time to emulate cars like the E39 M5 and E46 M3. The horsepower numbers of these cars may not be a lot by modern standards, but both cars are now looked at as the last truly analog M cars.
We would take the G70 and G80 and turn them into the N70 and N80. These cars would take inspiration from the M3 and M5 and capture the essence of driving that modern M cars have lost. Power shouldn't be an issue. Hyundai's V8 already makes over 400 horsepower, but we would tune it to help it rev more freely and sound better at higher RPMs. This engine would power the N80 and be paired with a well-tuned suspension, a more aggressive fascia, and hydraulic steering. For the N70, we would be ok with a tuned version of the 3.3 twin-turbo V6, as long as Hyundai could make it feel like a naturally aspirated engine. With around 390 horsepower, this would be quite a car. The point of this plan is to capture the spirit of driving pleasure.
N may come after M in the alphabet, but we think the N brand could be what M used to be. If you wanted a nicely balanced sport sedan, the M brand used to be unparalleled. Now M cars are filled with technology that help the cars set impressive lap times but at the expense of driving feel. Do you think that our plan for Hyundai's N brand could actually work? We still have no confirmed models from Hyundai's performance division, but we think our ideas would certainly be a great place to start.