Remove the RN30 concept’s butterfly doors, Fast & Furious graphics, big wing, painted tyres, plastic windows, ceramic-tipped exhausts, GoPros on the A-piliars, buckets seats… OK, remove quite a lot of stuff, and what you’re left with is Hyundai’s first-ever hot-hatch – the i30N – on sale next year.
The Koreans have already dipped their toes into the hot-hatch market with the somewhat apologetic Kia Cee’d GT, but this time they’re aiming higher. Here the engine is a 2.0-litre heavily turbocharged unit, strengthened with forged pistons, producing 374bhp and 333lb ft. That’s the same output as the Mercedes-AMG A45.
Question is, how will that relate to production? Over to Albert Biermann, the guy Hyundai poached from BMW M to head-up its new N division: “Power output will be sufficient. We’re not going for Nurburgring lap records! We will have two versions, a base version and a more performance-orientated version, and the character will be different.”
So no precise output, but something around the 230bhp mark for the base model and 250bhp for the higher-performance version would match the VW Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST. And what of the concept’s 4WD? “We are just starting; the performance level that we are offering does not require AWD,” Biermann said. Nevertheless, be afraid, established hot-hatch order, be very afraid.