Hyundai recently announced their intention to start competing with high performance vehicles such as Cadillac’s V-Series, the Lexus F models, BMW’s M-Series, and more. This transition will not happen over-night but Hyundai are forecasting that within the next 2 to 3 years, they will start to produce the N model.
Hyundai is certainly not one of the first names that comes to mind when someone asks you about a good sports car manufacturer. In fact, Hyundai built its brand and reputation on an entirely different focus. They have maintained clear objects to produce economical cars that are affordable and accessible for the average driver. As that reputation has continued to grow, Hyundai has started to incorporate more features and options while keeping their prices affordable. In the last few years they have unveiled redesigned versions of the Genesis and the Tucson which certainly speak to a desire to increase the aesthetic factor of their key vehicles. What remains to be seen is how affordable the N model will be when it is unveiled. Are they aiming to produce a very well equipped sports car at a similar price to their competitor? Or will they seek to create the “everyman’s high performance car”?
Hyundai does have a bit of experience with performance vehicles when it comes to the racing world. They recently unveiled the N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo sports car which is featured in the racing game Gran Turismo. They also showed off the i20 rally car as they return to the World Rally Championships. So the interest and experience is there. Perhaps another large factor is the presence of Albert Biermann who recently took over as leader in the development of Hyundai’s new models. Mr.Biermann was chief engineer of BMW’s M series cars for over 30 years. His expertise and vision may be a driving force behind the upcoming N model.
Obviously the N model will represent Hyundai stepping into a smaller more niche market than the one they currently reside in. One of the exciting side-effects of N model development however, is that the features, improvements, and efficiencies they develop will inevitably make their way into Hyundai’s other vehicles as well. This should lead to an overall stronger brand moving into new and exciting market opportunities. Only time will tell how successful the N model will be, but new ideas and options are always welcomed by any consumer.