A new report out of Australia suggests Hyundai is developing an all-wheel-drive version of its i30 N hot hatch, conceived to take the fight to the Volkswagen Golf R.

According to CarsGuide, the Korean firm’s performance division is currently testing all-paw prototypes.

Indeed, the publication says Hyundai Australia’s public relations manager, Guido Schenken, has confirmed an all-wheel-drive version has been on the cards from the very start of development of the front-driven hot hatch.

Of course, the current i30 N hatchback – which although not currently offered in South Africa, has not been ruled out by Hyundai Automotive SA, either – employs a 2,0-litre turbocharged engine worth up to 202 kW (with the Performance Package specified) and 353 N.m, with drive sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox (with a dual-clutch transmission also on the cards).

If the AWD version is given the green light for production, expect those figures to be increased somewhat. For reference, the outgoing Golf R (in SA spec) makes 228 kW, while the next-generation version is expected to offer around 245 kW (or up to 300 kW in rumoured Golf R Plus guise).

In addition, the report claims Hyundai’s uprated AWD powertrain could find its way into a high-performance version of the i30 Fastback and even a hotter version of the Kona (with the crossover likely to gain the “N” badge).