2018 Hyundai i30 N spy shots

It was in 2013 that Hyundai established its new performance division to leverage its motorsport technology, honed primarily in the World Rally Championship, for hot versions of its road cars.

The new performance division was named the Hyundai N division, and it had its official coming out party at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show. The “N” signifies Hyundai’s Namyang R&D center located in Hwaseong, Korea, as well as the Nürburgring where a lot of the track testing will happen.

Today we have new spy shots of the first N-developed Hyundai, a high-performance version of the next-generation Hyundai i30 compact.

The current i30 is sold in the United States as the Elantra GT, and it’s likely the next-gen model will arrive here too. What isn’t clear is whether we’ll get this N-developed version, tipped to be called an i30 N.

We know this is the i30 N because of its additional air intakes, dual-tip exhaust system, lowered suspension, and uprated wheels, tires and brakes.

Development of the i30 N has been underway for some time. The engineering team, led by former BMW M engineering boss Albert Biermann, started testing the new mechanical setup in the outgoing i30. They even raced one of the development mules in the 2016 Nürburgring 24 Hours (shown above). It finished 90th overall.

Power in the car will come from a newly developed turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. It’s too early to talk specifics but expect performance to be comparable to that of intended rivals such as the latest Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] Focus ST, Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen GTI, meaning more than 200 horsepower and 0-60 mph acceleration in under 7.0 seconds.

The new i30 is set to debut late this year. The i30 N should follow shortly after.

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