The answers could come sooner than you think.
Almost two years ago, Hyundai unveiled its overseas-only i30N hot hatchback. A hot fastback variant arrived later. In North America, the closest we get to both is the Veloster N, which rides on the same front-wheel-drive platform and shares the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 271 hp. In short, the basic underpinnings are the same, the design inside and out is what’s different. And so far, reviews for all three cars have been stellar. The Veloster N, now on sale in the US, is the hot hatch its predecessor never quite became.
And thanks to the hiring of former long-time BMW M chief Dr. Albert Biermann as Hyundai's global R&D chief, Hyundai and Kia have now become serious players in the performance and track business. Given that the i30N has been around for a couple of years now, isn’t it about time for an update of some sort? Apparently, that's exactly what Hyundai thinks.
Our spy photographers recently caught this camouflaged i30N prototype strutting its stuff at the Nurburgring and quickly confirmed this is not a prototype for the next-gen model, but rather the current car. The updates, however, are hard to see but they’re there. Sources tell us the i30N’s engine will remain the same but another key area is being addressed: weight.
To help it slim down, Hyundai will add a carbon fiber hood, lightweight seats, and lighter wheels. Various aerodynamic upgrades are also on the agenda. This prototype also appears to be equipped with a deeper front spoiler, wider side sills, and a rear diffuser. Considering the i30N arrived a good half year or so before the Veloster N made its debut appearance at Detroit in 2018, a similarly updated Veloster N could arrive fairly soon.
Supposedly, this new i30N (i30N Sport, perhaps?) is slated to debut this September at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. The next major American auto show is Los Angeles towards the end of November, so it’s possible Hyundai will have something really cool to bring. Other potential Veloster N debuts include New York next April and Detroit in June, the first time that show is being held in the summertime. We’ll hopefully learn more as we get closer to Frankfurt about this improved and better-handling i30N. Keep your fingers crossed the Veloster N is next.