One of the latest players in the realm of pocket rockets, Hyundai’s i30 N, is the brand’s maiden foray into the world of zippy hot hatchbacks and for the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Hyundai Motor’s N sub-division has rolled out the Project C. The bad news however is that Australia will not be receiving the extra-spicy hatch. Bummer.
Not too long ago, we brought you news of an i30 N Project C prototype tearing up the tarmac on the Nordschleife garbed in camo. The Seoul-based manufacturer has since ripped the vinyl off and spilt the beans on this limited-edition variant.
The engine remains untouched from the standard N Performance car – 202kW at 6,000 rpm and 353Nm of twist from between 1,450-4,700 revs courtesy of its 2.0-litre turbocharged GDi Theta power plant that’s hooked up to a six-speed stick shifter. Official figures show the Project C to be developing up to 2.3 bars of boost pressure and can (momentarily) produce up to 378Nm thanks to an Overboost Function.
Additionally, the Project C loses some 6mm of ride height and there is an 8.8mm reduction in its centre of gravity thanks to a recalibrated damper setup and shorter, stiffer springs. Traction is provided courtesy of a 235/35 set of rubbers all round fitted to 19-inch forged OZ racing alloy wheels. Hyundai says this alone accounts for 22kg of shed weight.
The icing on the Project C’s cake is the myriad of unique CFRP (carbon-fibre reinforced plastic) bits that Hyundai bolted on. The front splitter, rear diffuser, bonnet and side-sills even forgo paint and is lacquered smooth, thus exposing its distinctive weave pattern while reducing weight. The result is a kerb weight of just 1,395 kg which is 50kg down from its stock ’N Performance’ base.
As its name suggests, Project C denotes the extensive use of carbon composite body panels aiding its weight loss regiment (as well as the ‘Area C’ test track at the brand’s R&D centre). As a result, the Project C is two tenths quicker to 100km/h than the standard i30 N Performance model and even more agile through the bends, Hyundai claims. The top speed remains unchanged at 250 km/h.
Speaking of the exterior, Hyundai have taken the restrained and tasteful route in terms of styling this kimchi variant and skipped past the unapologetically boy racer facade of excessively flared wheel arches, bonnet scoops and giant spoilers. Well done.
It’s a shame that Aussies will be denied the opportunity to sample this extra-spicy Korean offering. For the time being, the hot Hyundai will be limited to just 600 units with European deliveries starting later this year.