Klaus Köster, director of high performance vehicles at Hyundai’s European Technical Centre, added more detail about the halo car, saying: “Our challenge is to make the product affordable but also credible in the way we define any Hyundai N car. It cannot only be capable of just a handful of laps of a track before losing power – but also cannot be pitched at a price of hundreds of thousands of euros. The people who buy those kinds of cars are not Hyundai customers; not yet, at any rate.”
Even so, through a combination of Hyundai’s existing N-brand four-cylinder performance powertrain driving the front axle and the Kona Electric’s electric powertrain at the rear, the potential already exists for a four-wheel-drive Hyundai N-car with close to 500 horsepower.
“Ultimately, we will only ever respond to customer demand,” Köster added, “and we will only ever deliver something fully resolved, with a driving experience we’re really happy with. So we must be careful that, whatever we do, we create a car that N-brand customers will buy.”
The chosen bodystyle for Hyundai’s halo car has yet to be revealed. Insiders have previously suggested that a high-performance four-door, in the same vein as the Kia Stinger GT, and a two-door sporting coupé are the most likely candidates.
The N division, headed by former BMW M boss Albert Biermann, was established to produce high-performance versions of the Korean firm’s line-up, in the style of Volkswagen’s R brand or Mercedes-Benz AMG.
The brand has been testing a mid-engined, Veloster-based ‘RM16 N’, a component test mule that is thought to be part of the development process for the halo model.