Hyundai’s high-powered RN30 concept has landed in Paris to highlight the company’s newly founded N performance division.

Previewed about a week ago in a teaser, the RN30 is based on the third-generation i30 (known as the Elantra GT in Canada), but comes with an assortment of hardware upgrades to create a fully-fledged hot hatch. It wears a significantly more aggressive body with a beefy front bumper hosting enlarged air vents and a prominent splitter. The back of the car is also quite spectacular, featuring a massive diffuser and a prominent roof-mounted spoiler to aid downforce at the rear axle.

It sits on 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels and adopts a very stiff suspension setup that makes the car look as if it’s glued to the road. Compared to the road-going new i30, the RN30 is 30 millimetres wider thanks to the muscular front and rear fenders, while at the back there are dual ceramic tips part of the electronic variable exhaust system providing “a surge of aural pleasure” once you hit hard the accelerator pedal.

Hyundai RN30 concept
Hyundai RN30 concept
Hyundai RN30 concept

The concept’s heart and soul is a turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine pushing out 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque delivered through a dual-clutch gearbox. Unlike the new i30 that has a front-wheel drive layout, the RN30 adopts a grippy all-wheel drive setup and has been fitted by the engineers with an electronic limited-slip differential to provide even more stability during high-speed cornering.

Rather than using carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) to shave off weight, Hyundai has joined forces with BASF to develop new “high-performance” plastic materials. An exact curb weight has not been disclosed, but we do know Hyundai has strived to cut as much fat as possible and it has also implemented a very low centre of gravity by pushing back the seats and lowering their position as well. The whole car actually sits 84 mm closer to the road than the regular i30, and there are various aerodynamic bits to improve airflow and ultimately boost performance.

While the RN30 is only a concept, we do know Hyundai has plans to introduce the N version of the i30 early next year. It will have a FWD layout and a six-speed manual gearbox, but an AWD model and an automatic transmission is also being seriously considered.

Source: Hyundai

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