N division will have a quiet 2019, however, with resources instead directed to launching Hyundai’s electrification strategy with the Kona Electric, updated Ioniq and further plug-in models to come.
After years of rumours, company sources previously revealed to Autocar that the i20 supermini will be the next N-car, and is likely to be ready for an unveiling by early 2020. Original rumours cited a release for such a car sometime in 2018, but the launch was pushed back down the list of priorities.
The i20 N’s engine changes and chassis modifications will mirror that of the i30 N, so expect significantly more firepower than the supermini’s existing engine range and suitable lowering and stiffening of the car’s suspension, alongside performance brakes and more direct ratio steering.
The most likely engine candidate to boost performance to the desired level will be the brand’s widely turbocharged 1.6-litre T-GDI motor. It offers 174bhp in the Tucson SUV, but a figure of at least 200bhp will be necessary if Hyundai wants to successfully mix with the class big hitters such as the Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI.
Next in line will be a long-rumoured N-branded version of the Tucson. The hot SUV will push the envelope in terms of power for Hyundai, with over 300bhp expected to give it the performance potential to take on the Cupra Ateca. It will be supplemented by a four-wheel-drive system, and is expected to arrive a few months after the i20 N.
Matt Saunders and Lawrence Allan
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