Hyundai i30 N Project C – hardcore LE dripping in CF09/11/2019
Hyundai has revealed the i30 N Project C at the IAA show in Frankfurt. The Project C is a more extreme version of the top 275 PS spec i30 N hot hatch. Available only to European customers, the lighter, lower and more aggressive Project C is limited to 600 units.
The ‘C’ in the name stands for three things: the ‘Area C’ high performance test circuit at Hyundai Namyang R&D centre (the birthplace of N), the use of carbon fibre (a Hyundai first), and the lowered centre of gravity. To that, this hardcore i30 N is 50 kg lighter than the standard car, and its CoG is 8.8 mm lower.
The Project C comes with clearly visible carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) body parts lacquered smooth to show the CF weave. The front splitter, rear diffuser, bonnet and N-branded side sills are all made from CFRP. Despite featuring a larger frontal area and lower ground clearance (it sits six mm closer to the road), the Project C’s drag coefficient remains unaffected at 0.32. Dedicated aero touches help.
Here’s where the 50 kg savings come from. The forged 19-inch OZ wheels alone account for 22 kg of shed weight, with the bonus of it being unsprung. Elsewhere, the CFRP bonnet (-7.2 kg), both side sills (-499g each), front splitter (+240g of aero function and good looks), new design integrated rear diffuser (-386g) and the manually operated Sabelt competition front bucket seats with CFRP backs (-7.5 kg each) do their part.
The lower ride height and lower CoG is from new calibrations for the existing i30 N dampers and shorter springs. The rear wheel hangers – or knuckles – at the hubs together remove 4.66 kg as here they are made from aluminium and not steel. There’s a stiff bar in the boot, as per the i30 N’s Performance Package.
Meanwhile, all driving modes have been specifically calibrated for the Project C – both Sport and N drive modes provide greater direct feedback, while N mode has been tuned for the “required agility and predictability while on race-track quality tarmac in the hands of more experienced drivers.”
The Project C’s interior features Alcantara highlights around the steering wheel, handbrake and gear lever boot. And just look at that brushed aluminium billet manual shift knob that’s shaped like a pistonhead. Deep Orange is the accenting colour found on the seat belts, stitching and stripes for the seats, and the drive mode and N-mode buttons on the steering wheel. A numbered limited edition badge on the passenger side wraps things up.
The hot i30 N’s exterior is dominated by dark matte grey and the high gloss weave of the CFRP parts. The brake calipers stand out in Deep Orange.
Previewed at KLIMS 2018, the Hyundai i30 N is powered by a 2.0 litre Theta T-GDI engine, which in standard tune offers 250 PS and 353 Nm from 1,450 to 4,000 rpm. With the Performance Package, output is bumped up to 275 PS. Paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, 0-100 km/h takes 6.1 seconds and top speed is 250 km/h.
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