Hyundai takes wraps off RN30 Concept at 2016 Paris Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on October 7, 2016

Visitors at the ongoing 2016 Paris Motor Show are given the privilege to see Hyundai’s newly unveiled RN30 high-performance N racing concept. Inspired by motorsport and developed to deliver a high level of performance on the track, the RN30 was derived from the New Generation Hyundai i30.

Hyundai pursued the development of the RN30 racing machine along with its Performance Development & High Performance Vehicle Division, Hyundai Motorsport (HMSG) and Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center (HMETC).

This is a follow-up to the Hyundai N concept unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September last year. According to Albert Biermann, Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development for Hyundai Motor, the RN30 is an embodiment of a strong, high-performance concept car offering a sporty and dynamic driving experience.

Biermann remarked that as a forerunner of Hyundai’s first N model, the RN30 takes inspiration from the carmaker’s passion to deliver a high-performance car that its customers could effortlessly enjoy.

He quipped that Hyundai drew on technological expertise honed through motorsport to offer “emotional delight” by blending performance and control – one of the goals that the Hyundai N hopes to achieve in future performance models.

The RN30 is Hyundai’s latest high-performance sports concept, providing a preview of what future N production models would be like both in terms of looks and potential. This concept builds on the ‘N’ model attributes that made their debut in the Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo, RM15 and RM16 concepts.

RN30 as well as the N performance models are egged on by the South Korean carmaker’s success in motorsport while demonstrating its desire to focus on exciting driver experiences at the heart of new vehicle developments. Hyundai will commence sales of the i30N model next year.

Exterior Design

The development and engineering of the RN30 were specially geared towards making the concept lighter while lowering its center of gravity. Unlike most high-performance cars that make use of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), RN30 features new high-performance plastic materials -- highly durable and eco-friendly -- that were developed in cooperation with chemical company BASF.

Aside from using these materials, Hyundai also got rid of redundant parts and decided to place heavier components in the lowest possible position to lower the center of gravity. In addition, Hyundai pushed back and lowering the seats. On the other hand, the exterior front end of the RN30 is marked by the brand’s new signature cascading grill flanked by high-tech headlamps that provides the concept with bold yet imposing image when combined with the characteristic daytime running lights. Both downforce and engine cooling are helped by the fact that the air flowing from the front to the rear goes through the radiator grill and the air intake.

Large air outlet on the upper section of the engine hood hints at the dynamic potential of the RN30’s engine. Dimension-wise, the RN30 features a width of 1,950mm and a height of 1,355mm, which makes it wider (by 30mm) and lower (by 84mm) than the New Generation Hyundai i30, from which it adopted its clean and cohesive lines.

This gave the RN30 Concept more purposeful proportions that allow it to become more stable when moving at speeds and during cornering. As expected, the new Hyundai RN30 features a number of design elements that allow it to put in high-performance technologies and aerodynamic improvements.

These elements include a ‘floating’ fender over each wheel that – while making the RN30 appear more dynamic -- work with the side splitters to enhance its aerodynamics. It is also provided with a large rear spoiler that produces ample downforce during high-speed driving while serving as a distinguishing feature.

The central line of the roof, meanwhile, features a fin that penetrates the rear spoiler to allow for a more distinct appearance on the rear. A large rear diffuser -- placed just above centrally mounted white ceramic twin exhaust pipes – provides optimal and balanced downforce. The exterior look of the new RN30 is completed by 19-inch light-weight alloy wheels.

Interior Design

Meanwhile, the interior of the new RN30 was designed in collaboration with racing experts from Hyundai Motorsport (HMSG). The aim was to ensure that the driver’s attention is only centered towards the RN30 and the road.

This was achieved by specifying a bucket seat and an integrated roll cage that further strengthen the car’s vehicle body strength while supporting and protecting the driver. Interestingly, the RN30 is fitted with image-stabilizing gimbal cameras inside each A pillar and with an exterior camera mounted to the roof’s central fin.


Serving as the core of the RN30 concept is a high-performance 2.0-liter turbocharged engine mated to a wet-type dual-clutch transmission (DCT). This new engine is being developed specifically for Hyundai N production models.

Featuring a larger turbo for higher thrust level at full throttle, the engine features forged parts. Previously, this engine featured casted parts, but Hyundai decided to employed forged components to heighten both their durability and resistance, in turn better managing the extra power -- 380 PS (279.5 kW) of max output and of 46 kgf.m (451 Nm) of peak torque.

By employing a wet-type dual-clutch transmission (DCT) that boasts of direct coupling and faster responses during gear shifting, the new RN30 could fully optimize its torque levels for a more dynamic acceleration. In addition, the RN30 comes with an all-wheel drive (AWD) system that allows it to better handle its power and offer precision driving during high speeds.

As a high-performance concept, the new Hyundai RN30 is laden with an array of specialized technologies that could maximize the thrill of performance, thereby allowing drivers to tackle even the most challenging of race tracks. For example, rev-matching accurately and quickly change the engine speed when the gear is shifted in sport mode.

Meanwhile, the Electronic Variable Exhaust system generates a strong exhaust sound that could further excite drivers during rapid acceleration. In addition, the new RN30 is provided with technologies that could improve safety and control. One of these is the electronic limited-slip differential system (eLSD) that – by measuring the driving force of the tires - ensures that sufficient torque is delivered to each wheel.

This technology doesn’t only help prevent skidding, but also offers quick and precise cornering on high-speed curves. Taking charge of the developments of all N models is Hyundai’s R&D base in Namyang, South Korea, with test drives being done at Nürburgring.

Press Release


Hyundai Motor today unleashed its latest high-performance N concept with the world premiere of RN30 at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The motorsport-inspired racing concept is developed to deliver passion and pleasure on the track.

Based on the New Generation Hyundai i30, the RN30 was born as a racing machine, developed in close collaboration with Hyundai Motorsport (HMSG), Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center (HMETC) and Hyundai Motor’s Performance Development & High Performance Vehicle Division. The striking concept is distinguished by its purposeful aerodynamic design and specialised high-performance technologies that deliver thrilling high-speed driving.

Albert Biermann, Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development for Hyundai Motor said; “RN30 embodies the concept of a strong, high-performance car that brings dynamic, sporty driving. Soon to evolve into our first N model, the RN30 is inspired by our passion to provide a high-performance car that our customers can enjoy effortlessly. We have drawn on our technological expertise – honed through our motorsport successes – to deliver emotional delight through an engaging blend of performance and control, the goal Hyundai’s N strives to achieve in future performance models.”

Hyundai N was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015, bringing to life the company’s philosophy for providing engaging and thrilling driving pleasure for its customers.

High-performance powertrain boosts driving pleasure

RN30’s power is supplied by a high-performance 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, under development by Hyundai for N production models, upgraded with an enlarged turbo to increase thrust at full throttle. To manage the additional power, the engine blocks have been applied by forging parts, instead of casting parts, to increase their durability and resistance. As a result, the RN30 is primed for performance, boasting 380 PS (279.5 kW) and a maximum torque of 46 kgf.m (451 Nm).

Managing the impressive levels of torque is a wet-type dual-clutch transmission (DCT), delivering quicker responses during gear shifting and direct coupling to provide dynamic acceleration. To manage the car’s power while enabling precision driving at high speed, the RN30 is equipped with an all-wheel drive (AWD) system.

Specialised technologies maximize thrill of performance

The RN30 features specialised high-performance technologies designed to increase excitement for drivers and enable them to tame the most challenging of race tracks. Rev-matching encourages spirited driving by quickly and accurately revising the engine’s speed whenever the driver shifts gear while in sport mode. Adding to the sense of thrill for the driver, the Electronic Variable Exhaust system provides a surge of aural pleasure by emitting a strong exhaust sound consistent with the visceral sensations produced by the rapid acceleration.

Other technologies are specifically aimed at enhancing safety and control. The sophisticated electronic limited-slip differential system (eLSD) makes sure each wheel receives sufficient torque, measuring the driving force of the tyres. This helps prevent skidding and ensures fast, precise cornering when navigating high-speed curves – allowing drivers to control this powerful racing machine easily, accurately and confidently.

Engineering focus on lightweight and low center of gravity

When developing the RN30, Hyundai’s designers and engineers established a new approach to reducing weight and lowering the center of gravity. Instead of using carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) common to most high-performance cars, Hyundai broke the mould with all-new high-performance plastic materials, developed in collaboration with leading global chemical company BASF.

This weight-saving innovation is light, highly durable and environmentally-friendly and is used throughout the new concept to help boost handling and acceleration. Inside, redundant parts were removed, while heavier parts sit in the lowest possible position. The centre of gravity is lowered further by pushing back and lowering the seats, with all these elements combining to achieve a light weight, ideal for performance driving.

Exterior design formed by high-performance DNA

The silhouette of the RN30 is unmistakably inherited from the clean and cohesive lines of the New Generation Hyundai i30, but with a lower, wider stance to enable greater stability during high speed driving and cornering. To achieve the more purposeful proportions the width of the RN30 has been increased by 30mm compared to the i30, to 1,950mm. Height has been significantly lowered by 84mm to 1,355mm

Further exterior design details hint at the RN30’s capabilities and accommodate high-performance technologies and aerodynamic enhancements. A ‘floating’ fender over each wheel enhances the visual impact of RN30 and work with the side splitters to improve aerodynamic performance, producing the sensation that the car is being sucked-down onto the track.

The front design features Hyundai’s new signature cascading grill and high-tech headlamps, which creates a strong, aggressive image when combined with the distinctive daytime running lights. The airflow from the front to the rear passes through the mesh cascading radiator grill and the air intake, not only improving downforce but also optimising cooling for performance driving. On the upper part of the engine hood, a large air outlet hints at the dramatic engine power of the RN30.

The large rear spoiler, which generates downforce during high-speed driving, distinguishes the car, giving it aesthetically balanced proportions. Also, a fin placed along the central line of the roof and penetrating the rear spoiler, creates a unique rear look. For optimal and balanced downforce, the car features a large rear diffuser set above centrally-mounted white ceramic twin exhaust pipes, while the 19-inch light-weight alloy wheels complete the car’s dynamic appearance.

Interior design – optimised for performance driving

During the interior design process, RN30 designers and racing experts from Hyundai Motorsport (HMSG) worked together closely to ensure drivers can focus attention exclusively on the car and the road. A bucket seat, which perfectly fits the driver’s body and an integrated roll cage, which increases the vehicle body strength, support and protect the driver in all situations.

To capture the driver’s reactions and dynamic moments while on the road or track, image-stabilizing gimbal cameras are attached inside each A pillar, with an outside camera attached to the centre fin on the roof. Drivers can create professional-looking racing footage or present their experiences as if on television..

RN30 is the latest in a succession of high-performance sports concepts that point towards the future of N production models, furthering the ‘N’ model characteristics first seen in the Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo, RM15 and RM16 concepts. All N performance models draw on Hyundai’s successful motorsport experiences and demonstrate Hyundai’s desire to put thrilling driver experiences at the heart of new car developments. The i30N model will soon be available next year, making our passion for high-performance driving accessible to everyone.

All N models are developed by passionate experts in Namyang, the heart of Hyundai Motor’s global R&D network – then pushed to their limits at Nürburgring, the world’s most challenging race track. The N logo represents the chicane of a race track – where the balance of cars is proven rigorously.

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