Hyundai has also worked on a range of hot hatch concepts
Korean firm says lessons learned developing its i30N hot hatch will lead to sportier handling across its range
Hyundai will use the technical knowledge gained during the development of its i30N hot hatch to make all of its models more engaging to drive, the brand’s director of high performance vehicles has said.
Speaking to Autocar at the i30N launch, Klaus Köster explained that Hyundai’s N division was helping the wider brand transition with a new, sportier identity as it bids to become the biggest Asian car maker in Europe.
“We have already established our self as a reliable, quality car maker, that makes cars with good designs,” he said. “But now we have the knowledge to add sportiness to that image – which is something us Europeans like.”
Köster said the i30N, which spent much of its development time at the firm’s European technical centre at the Nürburgring, would act as a halo product for this image change. He said all of Hyundai’s models would follow that car’s trend by being assessed at the Nurburgring during development.
“It would be very nice if in 10 to 15 years we can have people on the street seeing Hyundai as a brand that makes cars which are fun to drive,” he added. “We have worked hard to develop this i30N into a car with a broad character and this can help us with all Hyundai models.”
Köster said that it was this broad, flexible character that was key to ensuring the brand succeeds on a global scale. “In some markets like Korea they want a softer car, but others want a stiffer one,” he explained.