Despite the fact Hyundai N emphasises that its products are “thoroughly honed” at its Nürburgring-based testing centre in Germany, the head of the Korean automaker's high-performance division believes chasing lap records is “a waste of time”.
Speaking to Road and Track after the reveal of the Veloster N at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Albert Biermann said that his focus was more on the “fun of driving” than on lap records or power outputs.
"There are companies that spend like five months at the Nürburgring, with tonnes of people. For that amount we can almost develop a whole car. It’s just a waste of time. I don’t do that," he told the US publication.
"The fun of driving has been out there for many, many years. We discovered it a little bit late in the Hyundai Motor Group, but now we’re catching up,” he added.
Biermann explained that his goal was to make N-badged vehicles more enjoyable for “normal drivers”.
"Driving enjoyment is the whole point of an N car. We developed it for driving fun, for nice challenging mountain roads or a tiny challenging racetrack. We don't care about lap times. If you're going for lap times, the aero settings are different, the suspension setting is different. It’s faster for a professional driver, but it’s not as enjoyable. We don’t care for that. We want many people to enjoy this N experience, people who might not have driven a sporty car before.
"Our car should be very approachable. You don’t need to be a highly skilled high-performance driver to have fun in an N car. It should be really accessible to normal drivers. They can sense this N feeling, learn and grow with the car, and get even more fun out of it. That’s our philosophy."
"You can enjoy it on the track, a lot. But it’s not the fastest car on the track. The brake system, the oil-supply system, the precision in the car; it’s all there for track driving. But the way we set the aero, the way we tuned the chassis, the tyre choice; we were never focused on fast lap times. If we did that, we would have a different car," he told Road and Track.