Hyundai has fully revealed its new limited-edition i30 N Project C, billed as a lighter, lower and “more extreme” version of the Korean hot hatch.
Under the bonnet, nothing’s changed, which means the turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder engine still delivers 202 kW to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, although Hyundai says the “reduced weight and added responsiveness" of the new package make for "noticeably enhanced feedback”.
The newcomer is some 50 kg lighter than the standard i30 N and sits six millimetres closer to the ground, too. Its drive modes have furthermore been “specifically calibrated”.
Although the i30 N is scheduled to launch in South Africa in early 2020, don’t expect to see this limited-edition model on local roads, with all 600 units set to be sold in “select markets” across Europe”.
The i30 N Project C’s model-specific additions include a raft of carbon-fibre reinforced-plastic (CFRP) body parts. Indeed, the front splitter, rear diffuser, bonnet and N-branded side sills are all fashioned from CFRP.
How else has the automaker saved weight? The forged OZ racing wheels play a big part in unsprung weight reduction, with the 19-inch items accounting for 22 kg of shed weight. And the manually operated Sabelt competition front bucket seats (complete with CFRP backings) also play a large role.
Inside, the Project C gains Alcantara highlights around the steering wheel, handbrake and shift lever. There’s also a brushed aluminium billet manual shift knob, "Deep Orange" seatbelts and an “01/600” badge on the passenger side.
So, why the use of the letter “C”? Well, the “Area C” test track at Hyundai Namyang R&D Centre is the birthplace of N. And Project C is the first use made by Hyundai of CFRP body parts for a road car. Finally, Hyundai says the effective centre of gravity for Project C is lowered by 8,8 mm compared with the standard i30 N.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.