Scheduled for a launch later this year, the Hyundai i30 N is currently being put through the paces of final testing in the snow on a frozen lake in Lapland – just 50km shy of the Arctic Circle.
The Hyundai i30 N is the first true hot hatch from the Korean automaker and while it could have launched the car earlier, Hyundai is taking all the time it needs to ensure that it gets the hot hatch right the first time around and not improve upon the lacunae that may have been left due to a rushed launch.
The reins of the test vehicle have been handed over to FIA World Rally Championship driver Thierry Neuville who is known for his exceptional driving skills.
Hyundai says that its first N model, which will launch in the second half of 2017, draws on the company’s motorsport experience and has its roots in the automaker’s fast-growing expertise in high-performance road vehicle development.
Through the tests on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Hyundai engineers carried out a number of tests with primary focus on i30 N’s performance and handling characteristics all the while adjusting the set-up to ensure it will be a performance vehicle for everyone. Working with Neuville, the team developed and tuned the i30 N’s dynamic systems, testing the ESC (Electronic Stability Control), LSD (Limited Slip Differential), steering, dampers, suspension and tires.
Neuville said that Hyundai engineers have done an excellent job at creating the i30 N and specifically on the gearbox and the differential. The i30 N delivered great stability even in such slippery testing conditions and the car is very easy to handle, he added.
The i30 N will be the third member of the i30 family, joining the five-door i30 and the i30 Wagon, which was launched at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month.
Hyundai first showcased its high performance N line-up in 2015 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. The N builds on Hyundai Motor’s successful motorsport experiences and technology capability to drive future performance-oriented and race-track-capable models forward and bring ‘the most thrilling winding road’ fun to customers who truly love cars. It capitalizes on Hyundai Motor’s fast-growing strength and signifies the pace of change within the brand, matching the company’s ambition to challenge perceptions by making real and emotional connections with customers.