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Hyundai says hybridised N range possible

Senior technical advisor says hybrids may help petrol N models meet emissions targets

4 Mar 2024

HYUNDAI Motor Company (HMC) executive technical advisor and former head of research and development Albert Biermann has told Australian journalists gathered for the launch of the Ioniq 5 N that a hybridised N range is not outside the realm of possibility.


Speaking via video link from his home in Germany, Mr Biermann said petrol-electric hybridisation of the N range is technically possible, with more powerful hybrid engines already in the pipeline.


“We will develop more powerful hybrid powertrains also for other vehicles in the Hyundai Motor Group, and I see an opportunity to have an N car as a hybrid, at least, let’s say, for i30 N Sedan that could be an option,” he detailed.


“Whether it will happen or not, I cannot tell you at this point. But from a technical standpoint it is possible.”


In promising to continue to offer smaller, and more affordable N models in the electric age, Mr Biermann said he would push for such a vehicle to replace the i20 N and i30 N, both of which are on limited time in the European market.


“I am pushing another project for a small car with a hybrid concept, but it is too early to say if there is any chance to bring it to our customers,” he stated.


“We have to accept that there is a transition phase, and that the timing of this phase is different for different regions … as a global player, I can tell you this transition will take quite some time in some regions.


“So, I strongly suggest that our company will offer hybrid solutions for smaller N car segments. I think that can help to make that transition a little smoother – as much as I would love to get everybody into a small, crazy, B-segment, full fun N car right now.


“It’s just not that easy,” he acknowledged.


Mr Biermann said HMC would continue developing petrol (and hybridised petrol) engines alongside electric drivelines for the time being, meeting the demands of markets where the switch to BEV was not immediately possible.


“We will continue, and we are continuing, to developing combustion engines for N cars – we can’t let you down,” he said referring to Australian customers.


“You are lucky in Australia that you can keep going with i30 Sedan N, and perhaps the i20 N. There is already planning about a successor to the i30 Sedan N … and I am confident that you can continue enjoying petrol N performance cars for quite some time.


“At this point in time, I think we can bring petrol engines into the next generation of N cars. We have a nice powertrain for that (range), and there is a good chance you will see it in Australia and in the South Korean market as well.”

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