When you think Hyundai, you think cheap, economical city runabouts and wild futuristic electric concepts. The thing is, nothing can be further than the truth, as seen with their recent success in the WRC. Riding off their inaugural WRC manufacturers’ championship in the 2019 season, Hyundai has seen fit to concoct an all-new performance machine for the road, the i20 N.
The i20 N is the newest car in Hyundai’s high-performance European model line-up, expected to follow the success of its bigger brethren, the i30 N Hatchback and Fastback. As with other N models, the i20 N will be racetrack capable and street legal.
Taking the best bits from their championship-winning i20 WRC rally car and their prototype RM19 race car, Hyundai has teased the angry little i20 N on ice in Arjeplog, Sweden. In their official teaser video, Hyundai WRC driver Thierry Neuville can be seen putting the i20 WRC, the RM19, and the i20 N through their paces in a snowy landscape.
Hyundai says they test their cars in the harsh minus 30 degrees Celsius climate to make sure its vehicles can still perform in extreme weather conditions, especially climates found in Europe. Hyundai should consider Malaysia for its next climate test, don’t you think?
Hyundai also wanted to test the i20 N’s performance in motorsport-like conditions under extreme cold. The high speeds and sharp turns were designed to put the vehicles under a high amount of mechanical stress, proving their capabilities in tough conditions.
The i20 N prototype, and Hyundai’s N brand in its entirety, is derived from their ventures in motorsport. Hyundai Motorsport was established in 2012, with Thierry Nueville as their lead driver. With Hyundai entering the WRC with the i20 WRC car, the combination of Hyundai and Nueville have gained nine wins, 26 podiums and the 2019 manufacturers’ championship.
In 2017, Hyundai invested further into motor racing by venturing into the WTCR touring car series with the i30 N TCR. The successful Veloster N TCR and all-electric Veloster N ETCR were touring cars developed since Hyundai’s endeavours into the series.
With all this technical knowledge and development gained from their ventures around rally stages and race tracks around the world, there’s no doubt that Hyundai N cars are machines capable of giving more established houses nightmares. If it does arrive here, the i20 N will be in a class of its own.