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).
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.