Hyundai launched its N sub-brand last year to develop high-performance cars. The latest car to emerge from this stable is the RN30, an aerodynamic, lightweight motorsport-inspired concept reworking of its new i30 that's packed with driver tech.
The RN30 has been developed with input from Hyundai Motorsport, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center and Hyundai Motor's Performance Development & High Performance Vehicle Division. It is designed specifically for track use and, Hyundai tells New Atlas, as a precursor to an eventual, more reigned in, i30 N production hatchback.
The RN30 has a new 2.0-l turbocharged engine that's been developed for use in its N production models, thus we can expect a likely debut in the i30 N. Hyundai says the engine boasts an enlarged turbo to increase thrust at full throttle and that it produces 380 PS (374.6 hp/279.5 kW). It also develops up to 451 Nm (333 lb.ft) of torque.
To manage this, Hyundai has paired the engine with a wet-type dual-clutch transmission that it says gives the car a sharp pick up after gear changes and allows the all-wheel drive vehicle to accelerate quickly.
Hyundai says the RN30 features a variety of "specialized high-performance technologies." A rev-matching feature in the car's sport mode, for example, adjusts the engine revs after gear changes to minimize any drop in pace and there's an electronic limited-slip differential system for delivering the required torque to each wheel, thereby improving control. More superficially, the exhaust system artificially matches the car's output with an accompanying roar.
To minimize weight, Hyundai has eschewed the common use of carbon fiber and instead has worked with chemical firm BASF to develop new lightweight but strong plastics (though Hyundai is remaining tight-lipped on exactly how much the concept weighs). Elsewhere, parts that aren't absolutely necessary have been jettisoned and heavy parts have been positioned as close to the ground as possible, in order to help optimize the vehicle's center of gravity. With that in mind, the seats have also been lowered and pushed back.
Although based on the i30, the RN30 has been lowered by 84 mm (3.3 in) and widened by 30 mm (1.2 in) for improved high speed and cornering stability, giving it new dimensions of 1,950 x 1,355 mm (76.8 x 53.3 in). Floating wheel fenders with accompanying splitters and a large rear spoiler are used to provide downforce. The radiator grille and front air intake also help in this respect, as well as to draw in cooling air for the engine.
Other exterior touches aimed at adding to the car's look are a top-mounted fin, a rear diffuser set above the exhausts and 19-in alloy wheels.
Inside, there are bucket seats to keep the driver inside the car during high speed cornering and a roll-cage for protection, as well as for stiffening up the vehicle. Finally, to capture all the fun drivers will be having for posterity, Hyundai has kitted out the RN30 with stabilized driver-facing video cameras, as well as a camera mounted on the roof to capture driving footage.
The RN30 has debuted at the Paris Motor Show this week.