Hyundai’s performance N division is at it again, though instead of developing quick variants of existing models such as the purported Tucson N, they are concurrently focused on a new standalone car that is meant to sit as the ‘halo’ flagship of the range.
While the South Korean company has been keeping silent about the project officially, tidbits of information have slipped through the cracks dating as far back as early 2018 before being essentially non-deny denied by one of Hyundai’s top brass.
According to Autocar, Gyoo-Heon Choi, Vice President of high-performance vehicle and motorsport, said: “A halo car remains in our plans. It won’t come for a while yet but we know we have to make one. We are now looking at some alternative powertrains and some different options on what kinds of vehicle we might deliver and when.”
It’s still a mystery how far into the project the N division team are or even what body style the final car will emerge as, though previously released concepts and spy photographs point to a wide body 3-door hatch resembling an amalgamation of new Veloster and - if you remember far back enough - the Renault Clio V6.
However, the British publication has also ascertained through insider information that the car will feature an advanced all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain consisting of a small displacement turbocharged motor while most of the car’s thrust will be supplied by powerful electric motors. It’s an approach similar to that of the Polestar 1.
Specifically, the internal combustion component will comprise of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder nearly identical to the i30N while the electrified half will be an enhanced version of the Kona Electric’s drive system. When operating in tandem at their peak, power is suspected be around 373kW or 500 horsepower.
Assuming the compact hot hatch-like body can help keep weight to a minimum, the mammoth EV torque and wide track could result in a truly insane machine with plenty of grip and warp-level acceleration. Given that it will come from Hyundai, and even if small production numbers are factored in, this halo Hyundai could offer hypercar-tier thrills and for a far more modest sticker price.