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Hyundai’s Australian i30 N tune goes global

Softer Aussie suspension tune for Hyundai i30 N heads overseas with Fastback

Hyundai logo8 Mar 2019

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) say its engineers played a key role in developing the i30 Fastback N five-door sedan’s new suspension, which features a damper build “very closely related” to that of the locally tweaked i30 N hot hatch.
 
When the i30 N launched Down Under 12 months ago, it debuted a slightly softer tune for its adaptive dampers that was better suited to Australian conditions and, therefore, unique from other markets.
 
Comparatively, the i30 Fastback N’s global suspension has been developed over the past 18 months with different hardware, although the i30 N’s independent MacPherson-strut front and multi-link rear axles are shared between the two.
 
Speaking to journalists last week at the i30 Fastback N national media launch in Tailem Bend, South Australia, HMCA senior manager of product planning Andrew Tuitahi said the difference between the new model and the i30 N locally is not as dramatic as it is overseas.
 
“If you consider some of the news that’s come out of Europe where they’re talking about a vast difference in feel between the two cars, that’s definitely not the case for us,” he said.
 
“The two cars are more related. It’s more of an evolution from the Australian hatch. The hardware settings … those differences apply to ours, the same as they do for Europe.
 
“But the style of damper build, the character and the curve that we’ve used for this car are very closely related to the original Australian hatch tune.”
 
These hardware changes will be applied to the i30 N in all markets as part of its forthcoming model-year update, making for a truly global suspension tune with significant local input.
 
Mr Tuitahi said Australian, Korean and German engineering staff worked with Hyundai Motor Company’s High Performance Vehicle Division at Hyundai Motor Europe Nurburgring Test Centre to develop the new hardware, with the international team concluding that reduced roll stiffness across the front end would improve ride and handling.
 
“We identified that a softer front-end would help with sharper turn in, better mid-corner adjustability, greater playfulness and also power-down, even with the (electro-mechanical limited-slip) diff,” he said.
 
“The car can be more playful now. You can induce rear steer; lift-off oversteer. The nose tucks that bit harder, and you can now get on a little earlier, a little harder, and have better grip from the front axle.”
 
Up front, the revised dampers now feature motorsport-inspired rebound springs for more progressive impacts and their bump-stops are 6mm longer and 10 per cent less dense to improve tyre grip by bettering load transfer on the limit.
 
Additionally, the anti-roll bar is 0.8mm narrower and the springs are five per cent softer for increased comfort over rolling and offset bumps, while the rear end has added a camber-control arm for better lateral stiffness and received similar tweaks to its damper software.
 
According to Mr Tuitahi, the revisions to the adaptive dampers have made N Mode “more playful on a racetrack” than the similarly tweaked Sport+, Sport and Normal driving modes that are now more comfortable.
 
“There is greater roll control across the rear axle to help induce playfulness, there’s a lot more anti-squat and, in some instances, no anti-lift on the front to help put that power down and induce playfulness in the rear,” he said.
 
This calibration was first tested on the Nordschleife and the roads surrounding the Nurburgring before being evaluated in Australia’s challenging urban and country environments. It was eventually tested in Korea and finalised in Germany.

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