Since the launch and nearly worldwide lauding of Hyundai’s proper entry into the hot hatch space with the i30 N, while also spearheading its N sub-division, the South Korean automaker has been mostly silent about plans to further their high performance portfolio.
However, coming soon to the Frankfurt Motor Show is something called the Project C. Currently undergoing final testing and pictured here in the requisite layer of camouflage, the car is clearly based on the FWD hatch, but will predictably offer more in terms of handling and driving thrills.
Hyundai themselves describe the Project C as the i30 N variant meant to be a “lighter, lower, corner-slicing version”, but sadly also mentions that it is aimed at European customers with a production cap at 600 examples. Boo.
We can expect plenty of the tropes that automakers use to further extract more performance and faster lap times from their existing quick road cars. In the Project C’s case, this will include panels substituted by carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) ones, motorsport-derived 19-inch wheels, and specific aerodynamic upgrades.
Honestly, apart from the more aggressive wheel design, it doesn’t seem as if Hyundai has taken the unapologetically boy racer route. The car manages to look about as equally balanced as a normal i30 N, and scrutinising the prototype doesn’t hint at the camouflage hiding any major aesthetic differences.
Under the bonnet, the output has remained unchanged at 202kW, which follows that peak torque should also match the current range-topping i30 N at 353Nm. That said, it is possible that Hyundai has also tweaked the engine management in a way to improve response and general behaviour of the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol.