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Frankfurt show: Hyundai joins Vision GT ranks

Virtual reality: Hyundai says its real-life N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo won’t make it to the real race track, but players of GT6 can take it for a spin.

Hyundai to launch N brand in Frankfurt via real-life version of Gran Turismo concept


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27 Aug 2015

HYUNDAI will pull the covers off a stunning concept car as part of its N performance sub-brand launch at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

Known as the N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo, the ground-hugging supercar will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 220kW, and will, according to Hyundai, preview “driver-focused technologies” that may make it into future production cars.

The show car will highlight the South Korean company’s first serious foray into the realms of production performance cars via its new N brand.

While Hyundai has given no indication as to the identity of its first N-fettled production model, it’s anticipated that the i30 – possibly underpinned by a new modular chassis – will be the first to be tweaked.

The i30 N could potentially be powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo four as the show car, and will be Hyundai’s first ever production all-wheel-drive hatchback.

There are also indications that the hot hatch will be produced in both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations.

Hyundai Australia public relations manager Bill Thomas was unable to confirm the first N car’s identity, but suggested that a high-performance hatchback would be welcomed in the local line-up.

“It would be great if was a proper hardcore hatch, and a serious shot across the bows of others in the category,” said Mr Thomas. “Our SR line-up is a strong performer for us, but this needs to be a really serious thing, a real brand-builder.”

Depending on where it is positioned price-wise, a front-wheel-drive i30 N would do battle with the category king, Volkswagen’s Golf GTI, as well as the Ford Focus ST, Holden Astra VXR and Renault Megane RS265. In all-paw guise, it would take on the VW Golf R, Subaru's WRX STi and Audi's S3.

Mr Thomas added that Australia is the largest market for the i30 in the world.

“It means that if we ask, Korea will listen when it comes to specs – they will consider it seriously,” he said.

Hyundai hired former BMW M chief engineer Albert Biermann last year, who moved to South Korea in December to oversee the development of performance vehicles from both Hyundai and Kia.

As well as the N brand, Hyundai will also preview an updated version of its i20-based World Rally Championship racer.

While some outlets are reporting it will be based on the European i20 coupe, Hyundai has said that the rally car will continue to use a five-door bodyshell.

New Zealander Hayden Paddon is a factory driver for the Hyundai WRC team.

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