Hyundai's N Performance Brand Getting Halo Vehicle - Eventually
Hyundai’s Veloster may be the first to wear the N badge and we’ve already explained it won’t be the last. However, the plot has thickened slightly. The new division won’t be limited to peppering existing models with enhanced powertrains and sport-inspired accessories, it’s eventually going to have its own halo car.
Thomas Schemera, who was appointed head of Hyundai’s new high performance and motorsport division earlier this year, is claiming that the Veloster N is only “the first phase of N vehicles.” But he isn’t talking about the future N-Line, which is to be comprised of gently tweaked Hyundai cars. Apparently, the group is developing a halo performance model to show off what the sporting division can really do.
Reported by AutoExpress, the language used to describe the new car was slightly confusing. Initially, it called the new vehicle a “bespoke, standalone model.” Which makes it sound like it would be exclusively N and not exist as part of the larger fleet in a vanilla format. But it also doesn’t sound like anything has been finalized. According to the report, Hyundai still hasn’t decided what the model should be. The company is currently discussing whether the new vehicle assumes the form of a sports coupe, crossover, or something more analogous to the Kia Stinger sedan. Whatever it ends up becoming, Schemera claims it will ultimately strengthen the Hyundai brand by bringing in more emotion and driving excitement.
“I can tell you [head of testing] Albert Biermann and myself are interested in hot things and have some ideas in the pipeline for a halo model — rest assured we are coming up with something,” he said.
Biermann also noted that the performance arm intends to be deeply involved with the development of all new models from the very beginning, thereby streamlining the process of converting Hyundai’s core products into rootin’-tootin’ N models. The first vehicle to get the A-t0-Z treatment is the redesigned i20 subcompact, which probably won’t enter into production for several more years.
Hyundai definitely isn’t taking N lightly. It sounds as if it intends to integrate the performance division into everything the brand builds from here on out — which includes a future model that will serve as its flagship. The tricky part will be making sure it doesn’t step on Genesis’ luxury minded toes or be redundant with what Kia is offering with the Stinger. We’re betting against the sedan but are operating on that assumption using little more than a gut feeling.
Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.
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