Lighter, harder Hyundai i30 N Project C debuts at Frankfurt
Power stays the same, but with less weight and revised suspension the Project C is set to be the most hardcore Hyundai to date
We knew it was coming, but Hyundai has now revealed the full extent of the changes it has wrought to the i30 N to create the limited-edition Project C version – a lower, lighter and more aggressive development of the already exciting hot hatch. The Project C moniker refers to three aspects of the car – the Area C high-performance test circuit at the marque’s Namyang testing facility, the carbonfibre used in its construction and a lower centre of gravity.
Based on the higher-specification i30 N Performance version, the Project C sticks with 271bhp and 279lb ft of torque when using the overboost function, and while no claims are made as to improved straight-line performance, chassis changes are said to enhance the car’s agility. Overall, the Project C version of the i30 N has shed 50kg thanks to a carbon bonnet, sills, rear diffuser and lightweight front seats. Additionally, OZ Racing 8 x 19-inch alloys shod with 235/35 R19 Pirelli P Zero rubber account for almost half of the car’s weight loss.
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Externally the most obvious changes are those that feature exposed carbon weave, with the bonnet, front splitter, rear diffuser and sculpted sills all featuring the material and endowing the i30 N with a meaner, more sporting look and an improved stance thanks to a drop in ride height of 6mm.
Hyundai says the centre of gravity is actually 8.8mm lower than before thanks to revised internal calibrations for the existing i30 N dampers and shorter, stiffer springs. A further weight reduction has been achieved by replacing the rear wheel hangers with aluminium items. As well as these hardware changes Hyundai has also specifically calibrated the driving modes for Project C, and both the Sport and N modes are said to give drivers better feedback.
Inside, the Project C has been enhanced with a set of new Sabelt bucket seats clad in a combination of black leather and Alcantara with deep orange highlights and stitching. Alcantara highlights adorn the rest of the interior, and the steering wheel-mounted N mode and drive mode buttons on the steering wheel (along with the brake calipers) are also finished in deep orange. The final change is a gearknob fashioned from brushed billet aluminium in the shape of a pistonhead.
The only fly in the ointment is that the i30 N Project C will be built in strictly limited numbers – just 600 will be made – and with all examples destined to be left-hookers it’s unlikely it will be officially listed in the UK.