South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. world premiered its first-ever high-performance car series in Germany on Thursday (local time), two years after it vowed to take on leading high-performance car brands in the world auto market.
The company unveiled two high-performance i30 models - i30N and i30 Fastback in Dusseldorf, Germany. The i30N is the first of the Korean automaker’s revved-up N series cars. All eyes are on whether the Korean car giant would succeed in upgrading its image for a maker of value for money cars with the high-performance N series.
The company at the Frankfurt Auto Show 2015 first revealed its plan of developing high-performance N series vehicle that would offer “the pleasure of dynamic driving experience not only on race tracks but also in everyday life.” To ensure the success of its high-performance vehicles, it hired Albert Biermann, who once was vice president of engineering at BMW’s M performance car division, to lead the development of the N-brand line in April, 2015.
Designed in-house at Hyundai Motor’s global research and development center in Korea, all of the N series will be tested on Nurburgring circuit in Germany, one of the world’s toughest driving courses.
The i30N equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine offers 275 horsepower in maximum and 36 kilogram-force meter (kgf·m) torque, according to the automaker.
The “five-door coupe” i30 Fastback is a variant of the i30 with a sportier look and guarantees enhanced driving performance, the company said. It is available in two trims - 1.0-liter gasoline turbo engine and 1.4-liter gasoline turbo engine.
At the event unveiling the i30N and i30 Fastback, Hyundai Motor pledged to expand its sport utility vehicle (SUV) lineup, invest more on the development of future auto technology like eco-friendly cars, and strengthen the i30 lineups tailored for the European market as part of efforts to foster its car sales in Europe with an upgraded brand image.
The i30N and i30 Fastback are expected to hit the European market near the end of this year, according to the company.
By Woo Je-yoon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]