Korea-based automaker Hyundai seems pretty excited to take their new concept out for a ride. Two prototypes that are set to make their debut this coming September at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show have already been taken to the Nurburgring. Both examples of the Hyundai i30 N entered the Nurburgring 24-Hour race – a move that’s seen to be quite a bold move for the automaker. To put it into perspective, these cars will be joining a competition in one of the toughest race tracks around. And what makes it more amazing is that it marks the first time they’ll be hitting the track.
The examples will be entered in the SP3T class - that is for cars with 1.6- to 2.0-liter turbocharged engines. Both cars will be equipped with the engine and transmission that the production model will be built with. That is a 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine that will be partnered with a six-speed manual gearbox. And these will be the exact same configuration people can soon buy from dealerships, with only minimal (and regulatory) fixes to prepare it for the 24-hour race. The company says that both models are “close to series production”.
Of course, for any car to enter the competition, certain things will need to be added to make sure the driver stays safe. In this case, that includes an FIA-homologated roll cage, a fire extinguisher, and a single race seat. Racing brakes and tires also replace the original parts for the event. As for the exterior, the Hyundai i30 N gets a new front splitter and rear spoiler for extra aerodynamic downforce.
Alber Biermann, Hyundai’s head of Performance Development said in an interview last month that they are hoping for their “high performance brand to have considerable racing pedigree.” This is why it is focusing on making it competitive with minimal revisions.
He also added that this track is where the i30 N concept based much of its testing and chassis development. Well, the fact that not much configurations were added to the cars except for the standards means that the company has lived up to their expectations.
For the Nurburgring 24-Hour race, the i30 N will be driven by a team of employees from Hyundai’s Global R&D Center in Namyang as well as professionals including: engineer Jaekyun Kum, Vincent Radermecker of Belgium, Stuart Leonard of the UK are some of the professionals, and also journalist Christian Gebhardt. This group consists of team number one.
As for team number two, it’s composed of the same mix of professionals and Hyundai R&D Center employees namely: Pieter Schothorst of the Netherlands, German automotive journalist Jens Dralle, and two engineers Youngsun Jee and Jonghyuk Kwon.