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Frankfurt show: Hyundai ups i30 N ante with Project C

C for carbon: The Hyundai i30 N Project C is the brand’s first car to incorporate genuine carbon-fibre components.

Hyundai to make just 600 Euro-only hardcore Project C versions of i30 N hot hatch

12 Sep 2019

HYUNDAI revealed a limited-edition, hardcore Project C version of its i30 N hot hatch at the Frankfurt motor show this week, but Australian customers miss out as all 600 examples will be sold exclusively on the European market.


It is the first Hyundai road car to deploy genuine carbon-fibre body and interior components, with the high-tech material used for the Project C’s bonnet as well as its unique front splitter, rear diffuser and side skirts, as previewed at last year’s Paris motor show by the N Options concept.


Motorsport suppliers Sabelt and OZ Racing were respectively sourced for the carbon-fibre-backed bucket seats and forged 19-inch alloy wheels that together save 37kg over the standard i30 N items.


The lightweight bonnet saves another 7.2kg, while the sills and rear diffuser shed another 1384g. However, the new splitter adds 240 grams that Hyundai says is offset by “pure aerodynamic function and good looks”.


Steel rear wheel knuckles were replaced with aluminium items to save another 4.66kg and the suspension has been lowered 6mm with shorter, stiffer springs and recalibrated dampers.


Combined, the ride-height drop and 50kg overall weight saving has effectively shifted the Project C’s centre of gravity to 8.8mm below that of the standard car. This also helps maintain its drag coefficient of 0.32 despite the additional aero.


Hyundai has recalibrated the i30 N’s five driving modes to suit, with the emphasis on creating “greater direct feedback for an even stronger fun-to-drive effect,” when Sport and N settings are selected.


“The extremely dynamic N mode in this case is designed for the required agility and predictability while on racetrack-quality tarmac in the hands of more experienced drivers,” says the Hyundai press release.


Naturally, the Project C is based on the Performance Pack variant with full-fat 202kW/353Nm outputs – and 378Nm available for 18 seconds of overboost – from its 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine.


The Performance Pack – standard on all Australian-sold i30 N models – also includes a variable exhaust valve set-up plus bigger brakes, Pirelli P-Zero tyres, an electronically controlled limited-slip differential and additional bracing behind the rear seats.


As well as the carbon-backed, manually adjusted Sabelt seats, the Project C interior has a piston-shaped manual gear shifter and Alcantara trim on the steering wheel, handbrake and gear-lever gaiters.


Specific to the Project C are Deep Orange brake callipers, with this colour carried over to the seatbelts, contrast stitching and piping on the seats, and drive and N mode selectors.


Lashings of lacquered carbon-fibre aside, the Project C’s exterior has a mostly matte-grey finish that, like the build number plaque, is exclusive to this special edition.

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