In a technological breakthrough in the pursuit of minimum weight and a lower centre of gravity, Hyundai’s engineers developing the RN30 race car have ditched carbon-fibre and crafted parts from all-new high-performance plastic materials developed in partnership with global chemical company BASF.
The extra good news for hot-hatch fans is there is finally a road car in the pipeline with Albert Biermann, Hyundai’s High Performance Development chief confirming the RN30 will evolve into an ‘N’ model due for launch next year – the first road-going high-performance vehicle to wear the badge which was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015.
In ‘corporate-speak’ Hyundai says the RN30 “builds anticipation of high-performance ‘N’ models” and was “created as a racing machine to demonstrate sporting DNA of Hyundai N.”
We’ll just say it looks terrific.
And logically, with luxury sub-brand Genesis now getting traction - particularly in North America – the hydrogen fuel cell project well-advanced and the World Rally Championship team posting some good results…well, a few high-performance road cars seem to be the ideal next step for the Korean giant.
The RN30 race car shown in Paris is a collaborative effort between Hyundai Motorsport, Hyundai Motor’s Performance Development & High Performance Vehicle Division and the Technical Centre in Europe.
Power comes from the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine - which Hyundai confirmed is being developed for ‘N’ production models - featuring an Electronic Variable Exhaust system which ramps-up a sportier note under full throttle.
The race car version runs a larger turbocharger, a forged block and other special parts to handle the 280kW/451Nm output. To put that in perspective Hyundai’s current turbo 2.0-litre (as fitted to the Sonata) delivers 180kW/350Nm.
For the Hyundai RN30, drive is to all four wheels via a dual-clutch transmission with automatic rev-matching gear-shifts and electronic limited-slip differential.
Styling sees a clear link to the standard Hyundai i30 although the RN30 displayed in Paris is 84mm lower (1,355mm)and 31mm wider (1,950mm).
So-called ‘floating’ fenders over each wheel combine with side splitters as part of the aerodynamic package which also includes a roof fin, tailgate spoiler and diffuser.
The front gets a suitably aggressive look with the latest version of Hyundai’s ‘cascading grill’working with a massive air intake and a bonnet air outlet scoop.
Inside is a pure motorsport package but interestingly the A-pillars each contain image-stabilizing gimbal TV cameras which combine with a roof-mounted camera to capture the on-track action both inside and outside the cockpit.
Wheels are 19-inch alloys and the exhausts feature ceramic tailpipes.
File this one under ‘C’ for ‘Can’t Wait’!