This here is Hyundai’s approximation of a hot hatch and we must admit it does look rather good. Also, it will look nothing like this when it reaches showrooms in a couple of years. Mostly because, one, the RN30 is a concept and details like the scissor doors and belly-scraping ride height are not going to make it to production, and second, it is “created as a racing machine to demonstrate DNA of Hyundai N”. So, this is essentially a concept racecar.
But here’s some good news. The man behind the machine is a certain Albert Biermann, who some of you might remember as the former boss of BMW M Division, so he does know a thing or two about creating a wicked sportscar. So this concept is not merely a flight of fancy. This car previews Hyundai’s forthcoming Mercedes-AMG A 45 and Volkswagen Golf R rival.
Although based on a lowly i30 family hatch, this car is substantially different mechanically. The RN30 is propelled by a new 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, boosted with a bigger turbo (obviously) while the engine block has been bolstered to handle the 380bhp peak power and a maximum torque of 451Nm. Figures, you’ll notice, that compare favourably with the aforementioned rivals.
Naturally, the power is transmitted to all four wheels via a wet-type double clutch transmission. The gearbox also offers rev-matching in manual mode, while the Electronic Variable Exhaust system provides a fitting soundtrack.
It also packs an electronic limited-slip differential system (eLSD).
While developing the RN30, the focus was on reducing mass and lowering the centre of gravity rather than merely on power. That’s a good thing.
Design-wise it sort of still looks like an i30, but it sits noticeably lower and wider, punctuated by downright evil aerodynamic addenda.
Shame the production car will look nothing like it.