Hyundai to follow i30 N with hot WRC-inspired i20

N performance brand to expand with smaller hot hatch, possibly even Genesis-based model

Hyundai is set to follow up the upcoming i30 N hot hatchback with a smaller N performance model based on the i20 supermini.

A source within the company told evo that an i20 N would be the next step after the i30 N arrives, while the company hasn't ruled out using the N performance label on its Genesis luxury brand at a later date.

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The i20 N is likely to draw inspiration from the firm's 2017 i20 World Rally Car, which made its debut in prototype form at the Paris motor show.

2017's WRC rules allow for wider bodywork and more dramatic proportions than has been the case over the last few years, lending the next generation of rallying superminis some Group B-style aggression. Citroen, Toyota and Hyundai have all revealed their cars over the past few weeks.

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No powertrain details have been confirmed, but given the class in which the i20 N would compete, a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine is likely - matching the WRC engines in capacity. WRC-style four-wheel drive however is unlikely.

While high performance hatchbacks are on the cards, Hyundai has ruled out any kind of performance SUV for the time being, despite performance car development chief Albert Biermann's fondness for the genre, and the potential for a GT version of sister brand Kia's Sportage crossover. Hyundai's brand isn't yet strong enough to justify such a model.

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