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Hyundai’s i30N hot hatch could be followed by a more powerful, all-wheel-drive Focus RS rival

by Mike Duff, 26 August 2016

The Hyundai i30N hot hatch hasn’t been launched yet, but the company’s performance division is already considering a more powerful derivative – one that N division boss Albert Biermann admits would be aimed at competing with the Ford Focus RS.

Hyundai certainly doesn’t lack ambition when it comes to faster models, and two other derivatives are set to follow within months of the i30N going on sale next year. But Biermann said he sees the turbocharged 2.0-litre, front-wheel-drive car as being a start, rather than an end point, and he admitted to Autocar that he has been very interested in the Focus RS and its torque-biasing rear axle.

“We have been looking at this already,” he said at the i30N presentation at the Nürburgring last month. “I would not exclude for the future that we would do it, but it depends on how we grow.

“If we came up with a performance car on the highest level [now], it might be too fast for our customers and our dealerships. But I can see for the future that we will make a really high-performance car in the C-segment. Then, of course, we would need all-wheel drive.”

Although we have only partial details of the i30N at present, insiders say it will be powered by a new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine producing at least 255bhp and will be offered with a limited-slip differential, probably as an option.

However, the new engine has been designed to allow for higher-output derivatives, possibly even one that could get close to the 345bhp that Ford extracts from the Focus RS’s 2.3-litre turbo engine.

The big question – to which Biermann admits he doesn’t know the answer – is whether Hyundai’s customers will develop an appetite for more powerful derivatives that will justify the development cost of creating a significantly enhanced version.

“For the base model, there is no all-wheel drive plan. The i30 will not come with it,” he said. “But you know Hyundai: if we think something is right for our customers, then we do it. We could create something at a very high-performance level, but first we need to test the waters and grow some fan base. Then we can reach higher and higher; it’s just a matter of performance level. If it goes up a lot, then obviously you need to have all-wheel drive.”

Hyundai's Ford Focus RS rival in the pipeline | Autocar
 
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The technology for their 'rival' is 255hp and FWD? By the time their rival comes out, it will either be incredibly underpowered to compete or will be after the Mk 3 RS is out of production.
 

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The technology for their 'rival' is 255hp and FWD? By the time their rival comes out, it will either be incredibly underpowered to compete or will be after the Mk 3 RS is out of production.
Yeah I do't understand how they think this will be competition without awd....I know they said they are looking at awd platform later on. But currently it would be a ST competitor at most for the first year with fwd platform. SHould be interesting to see what the car puts down at the track though
 

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Give that man a snickers.


Maybe a competitor to the Fiesta ST. Good try though, but hyping up the Hyundai as a RS competitor.
 

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“If we came up with a performance car on the highest level [now], it might be too fast for our customers and our dealerships. But I can see for the future that we will make a really high-performance car in the C-segment. Then, of course, we would need all-wheel drive.”

That quote right there is utter garbage. That quote is pure politics speaking so in other words our Executives don't think our customers want an awd monster so where gonna start out with a more affordable car that will appeal more to the masses because we have no confidence. That kinda of thinking drives me crazy it's so cowardly in business you don't have an in the future you have a now so put up or shut up. This is a big powerful untapped enthusiast market especially with the exit of the EVO now is the time to make your move hell Subaru sells STI's like hot cakes what if they actually had some competition we'd all win.
 

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I guess this is the engine he is talking about. Quoted from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyundai_Theta_engine

"2.0T GDI turbo
The Theta engine is turbocharged for use in the Sonata 2.0T and Genesis Coupe. In the 2009-2012 Genesis coupe turbo, it produced 210 hp (213 PS) @ 6,000 rpm on 87 octane (AKI) gasoline, and 223 hp (226 PS) on 93 AKI. Torque remains the same at 223 lb·ft (302 N·m) @ 2000 rpm. The Theta block used is very similar to the Mitsubishi Evolution X 4B11T, as core components like pistons and rods are said should move freely between them,[2] however, the two engines are not identical. The 4B11T is a semi-closed deck block with larger oil and coolant passages, where as the Theta is an open deck block.

The turbo used is a Mitsubishi TD04 model.

The 2.0L GDI turbo in 2011-2014 Sonata develops 274 hp (278 PS) and 269 lb·ft (365 N·m) of torque. The fuel economy is rated at 22mpg (10.7L / 100KM) in the city and 34mpg (6.92L / 100KM) on the highway. It comes exclusively with a 6-speed automatic transmission."

Hmmm, closely resembles a EVO X engine. I guess it's true, that they have a engine that is somewhat capable.
 

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It's missing one vital factor...............Heritage!
 

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LOL, if he said this came with 400 HP/TQ out of the box for $40K no one would think twice about heritage.
Sorry................I would!

I worked at Hyundai during the 90's, the cars were just a POS, I know they are much better now, but a Korean built car on my horizons.....nah!
 

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Sorry................I would!

I worked at Hyundai during the 90's, the cars were just a POS, I know they are much better now, but a Korean built car on my horizons.....nah!
I agree they used to be a POS...but that was then.

Heritage has to start somewhere. :)

Personally I am not sure they have the bravery to do it. Not really their wheelhouse and I am sure the accountants will win out in the end.

However I do believe they are committed to beat Honda and the Civic SI.
 

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Looks pretty cool, though.

Jim
 

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Where the Japanese were determined to beat the US at their own game and did, the Koreans are determined to beat or at least match the Japanese at their own game. My dad has a Genesis with an interior that looks 95% like a comparable Lexus, down to the wood trim and perforated leather upholstery. We have a Santa Fe Sport with the 2.0l 264 hp turbo that really scoots and is warranted for ever. I wouldn't doubt they can make a hot hatch. Agree that until they make it AWD it'll duke it out with the Honda and not be in the STI/Focus RS discussion.
 

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Not forgetting that Hyundai had a crack at the WRC from 2000 to 2003 to impress on the big stage. Unfortunately even with some top name drivers I think the best result they achieved was a 5th place. As quick as they came they were gone again.

They should of kept at it and who knows by now they may have had an all wheel drive weapon in the global market with a good reputation and market share to back its investment.
 

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[...] is whether Hyundai’s customers will develop an appetite for more powerful derivatives that will justify the development cost of creating a significantly enhanced version.
That's a crap argument to me, and really just stands for "we don't want to take a risk." I have never owned a Ford and wasn't intending to be a customer, but Ford made me one by making a car that I wanted.
 

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The technology for their 'rival' is 255hp and FWD? By the time their rival comes out, it will either be incredibly underpowered to compete or will be after the Mk 3 RS is out of production.
Read that first paragraph again more carefully... The competitor would be a more powerful follow-up with AWD, not the i30N.
 

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Right... which would then fall under my comment of "...or will be after the Mk 3 RS is out of production."
BY then the RS500 or 2.7 V6 turbo will be in production. Or the Fusion AWD will have come out in 3.5 Turbo making 450HP....
 

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That's a crap argument to me, and really just stands for "we don't want to take a risk." I have never owned a Ford and wasn't intending to be a customer, but Ford made me one by making a car that I wanted.
Yes, good point... But consider this for a second, you and I both ordered the RS because it was a Ford. Now if Hyundai made the RS, would you still have ordered it? Be honest now... me... probably not - and I believe that is what Hyundai is afraid of.
 

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Yes, good point... But consider this for a second, you and I both ordered the RS because it was a Ford. Now if Hyundai made the RS, would you still have ordered it? Be honest now... me... probably not - and I believe that is what Hyundai is afraid of.
Oh my, really? That's not fair to say, I'm sure there are a lot of first time Ford owners that only made the switch because of the RS. Hyundai doesn't have a RS heritage so that's that. But if they had something better than the RS at same time. I mean top dog better. Then I would have considered it, as a first time brand buyer.
 
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