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Hyundai RN30 Concept is a 375-HP, AWD Race-Inspired Preview of i30N

Extra-hot hatch could hint at future Focus RS competitor

Alex Nishimoto
Sep 30, 2016

At the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Hyundai unveiled the RN30 concept, giving us another look at what we can expect from the N performance brand. The racing concept is based off the new i30, and is powered by a 375-hp turbo-four.

Hyundai says the RN30 was designed from the outset as a racing concept, and it looks the part with its low stance, massive fender flares, and large front splitter. As expected, the Hyundai RN30 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four making 375 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque, which is more than the development car Hyundai N raced at the 24 Hours of the Nrburgring. That car's 2.0-liter was designed from the ground with high-performance applications in mind. In the RN30, it gets a larger turbo and more forged internals to help it handle the power. A wet-type dual-clutch transmission sends power to all four wheels via an all-wheel-drive system. This sounds like the makings of a Focus RS-fighter, which is something N division chief Albert Biermann wants to bring to market.

2017 Hyundai Elantra
$17,150 Base Model (MSRP) 26/36 MPG Fuel Economy

"RN30 embodies the concept of a strong, high-performance car that brings dynamic, sporty driving," Biermann said in a release. "Soon to evolve into our first N model, the RN30 is inspired by our passion to provide a high-performance car that everybody can enjoy effortlessly."

Though this concept suggests Hyundai N has the Focus RS in its sights, we've heard that the first N product, the i30N, will be front-wheel drive. An all-wheel-drive variant may arrive later if customers demand it.

In addition to the high-output engine, the RN30 receives an Electronic Variable Exhaust system that can increase the volume of race car sounds emitted from the RN30's tailpipes. The concept also gets an electronic limited-slip differential and lightweight plastic parts designed with help from BASF. The material was chosen because it's light and durable in addition to being more environmentally friendly than carbon fiber. Hyundai also lowered the RN30's center of gravity by moving the heaviest components to the lowest possible position. Inside, the RN30 gets gimbal-mounted cameras on each A-pillar. These image-stabilizing rigs allow drivers to take dynamic selfies at the track.

Though the i30N won't look nearly as radical as the RN30, some of the concept's styling elements, and possibly some of its drivetrain components, may appear in a future Focus RS-fighter. The i30N will be available in Europe and other markets outside the U.S. next year. Details on a U.S.-market Hyundai N plan have not yet been revealed.

By Alex Nishimoto
133 Articles

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