Hyundai could eventually get a bespoke N performance model
4 June 2018 - Autoblog
N boss Albert Biermann says dealers need time to take on performance Hyundais
Hyundai's N Performance division seems to have a few tricks up its proverbial sleeve, with a performance version of the Tucson crossover reportedly under development and the sub-brand toying with a 247-horsepower version of the Kona. Now comes word that N could eventually develop its own standalone performance model.
N Performance division boss Albert Biermann tells Top Gear he's enjoying far more freedom to develop hot cars than he did at his former employer, BMW. And that includes the possibility of a bespoke N model that isn't based on an existing, hotted-up nameplate.
Biermann tells Top Gear, "We have been working on this. Like the Racing Midship, which we've done three versions of. We are still working on these cars, trying different things. Maybe someday we will have such a car. There is no decision yet, but it could happen."
The Racing Midship is the full name of the mid-engine RM concepts Hyundai has developed as both the Veloster RM and RM15, both based on the Veloster hatchback. The latter was built around an aluminum space frame and fitted with carbon fiber panels, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder doing 296 horsepower.
Biermann says a bespoke N sports car is likely a ways off, however, saying Hyundai needs to give its dealer network time to get accustomed to the idea of performance cars. His team also works on products by stablemates Kia and Genesis, so it's possible we could see performance versions make their way into those brands as well.
For now, the 271-horsepower i30 N, which isn't sold here in the U.S., is the first N model, with the 275-hp Veloster N hitting dealerships late in 2018. Spy shots also captured a heavily camouflaged i30 N fastback earlier this year. Then there are the Tucson N and the Kona N mule prototype to show to Hyundai brass for possible production. So it sounds like it's going to be fun to watch this performance sub-brand unfurl its wings.