Rumors of an N-badged supercar have been floating around the Internet for years and there’s actually some truth to it. Albert Biermann, former head of Hyundai’s N division, told upper teeth a flagship sports car was indeed under development at some point. While the i30 N launched in 2017 hinted at the South Korean brand’s sporty intentions, the original plan was to introduce a product far more attractive than a compact hot hatchback.
Known internally as “The Chairman’s Car,” the original Hyundai N was supposed to be a fully fledged supercar with the right mid-engine layout. Naturally, Albert Biermann was the driving force behind the project, as was the case when he led the BMW M when he pushed a supercar. That, by the way, never happened either, as peek from Munich decided to focus on the i8 plug-in instead.
The first N models were designed with a carbon fiber body chassis and a gasoline engine running alone or with an electric motor as part of the hybrid powertrain. Interestingly, the supercar platform is being developed to also accommodate hydrogen fuel cells. Why was the project finally cancelled? The top brass in Seoul thought that the projected asking price of $150,000 would be too high for a model with the Hyundai badge.
In hindsight, Biermann – who now works for the Hyundai Group as an Executive Technical Advisor – agreed with the decision to leave supercars and work on much more attainable performance cars like the Kona N, i20 N, and Veloster N. forget about the RM (Racing Midship) concept. we’ve seen in recent years, which hints at a more hardcore model than the N model. A supercar will crown the N lineup and reinforce Hyundai’s desire to build a high-performance engine.
A different kind of N model is coming soon as engineers put the finishing touches on the fully electric Ioniq 5 N. It is expected to land in 2023 with about 600 horsepower. In a different interview, the same Biermann promised it would be much faster than the i30 N and feature a special Drift Mode.