Could an electric N model be in the cards?
Hyundai's N division is already a huge success, with i30N sales exceeding supply and Veloster N sales expected to do the same. Clearly, the Korean automaker needs to capitalize on the success of its sporty N division with new models, and the speculation has begun on which models will be fitted with the N badge. In an interview with Automotive News, a senior executive said that at least two more N models are on the way, and an electrified version could follow.
We already know that Hyundai's third N model will be the i30 Fastback N, which is set to debut in October at the Paris Motor Show. The fourth model will likely be an SUV, and rumors have pointed to a Kona N. Albert Biermann, Hyundai-Kia's head of vehicle testing and high-performance development, said that an 'N' SUV was always a part of his long-term plans, but hinted that a secret N model may appear before the SUV, bringing the total number of N models up to five.
"There's a car within the next two or three months that we probably have a chance to show to Vice-Chairman Chung [Eui-sun] and our top management," Biermann said at the launch of the Veloster N. "Depending on what is the current mood and situation, we might get a spontaneous 'OK, go for it.' " Once confirmed for production, Biermann and his team could build the car pretty quickly. The i30 Fastback N, for example, wasn't initially planned but was quickly greenlit after Hyundai-Kia design chief Peter Schreyer showed a mock-up to Biermann who quickly decided to build it.
So now the question becomes, what will this secret N model be? well, it could be an electric car: "As an example, we have an Ioniq EV. Were we to find a nice battery, a bigger motor and inverter, we could make an Ioniq EV N with a nice chassis and more power," Biermann said. "Something like that is not fully crazy."
This secret model could also be the dedicated N model that's been rumored to be in development. Biermann sadly put the kibosh on the idea of an N-branded Genesis car. "Before the Genesis [stand-alone] brand was started, we had made some concept investigation for a G70 N," said Biermann. "Of course we would love to do that, but right now I cannot see that."