At this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Hyundai Motor is showing the limited edition l i30 N Project C, lighter, lower and more extreme version of the award-winning i30 N.
Project C is the latest interpretation of Hyundai’s very first high-performance model and gives customers an even more intense i30 N driving experience, in a car that is lighter and even more responsive to driver input. It’s sure to put a smile on the face of even the most demanding drivers. The Hyundai i30 N Project C is 50 kg lighter (officially 50.004 kg lighter), 6 mm lower ride height and has enhanced interior and exterior design.
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Inspired by motorsport, the i30 N is Hyundai Motor’s original high-performance car to wear the N badge and debuted in 2017 to rave reviews and multiple awards. Built on the i30 five-door, it was developed from the ground up to deliver maximum fun-to-drive in everyday life on the road as well as on the track. N is Hyundai Europe’s emotional expression for dedicated customers, and Project C is its truest expression yet.
The i30 N Project C’s unique specifications include clearly visible carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) body parts lacquered smooth to show the perfect carbon fibre weave. The front splitter, rear diffuser, bonnet and N-branded side sills are all made from CFRP, making the special edition model not just lighter but also tighter to the tarmac at speed while being stunning to look at. Despite featuring a larger frontal area and standing lower to the ground, the Project C drag coefficient of 0.32 remains the same as on the i30 N. Meanwhile, dedicated aerodynamic touches placed high and low on Project C also contribute to an exhilaratingly quicker but even more steady drive for confident curve slicing.
Why the letter ‘C’ specifically? First, the ‘Area C’ high-performance test track at Hyundai Namyang R&D Centre is the birthplace of N. Then also, Project C is the first use ever made by Hyundai of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) body parts for a road car. Lastly, the effective centre of gravity for Project C is lowered by 8.8 mm as compared to the 275-PS specification of i30 N. These three Cs combine to make this captivating performance car possible.
“The i30 N Project C is the next emotional step in following the success of the i30 N, demonstrating that Hyundai is pushing the envelope even more to excite motorsport enthusiasts”, says Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Division. “With this limited edition, we have strategically reduced the weight of the car where it can help most, made its overall handling more responsive and optimised its design for even better performance.”
i30 N Project C cuts weight with carbon fibre and aluminium
With the i30 N Project C, Hyundai has made no compromises in order to optimise the i30 N’s high-performance credentials. The forged OZ racing wheels contribute significantly to a major reduction in unsprung weight. The imposing 19-inch wheels alone cut the car’s weight by 22 kgs.
Other key areas of weight reduction are the use of carbon fibre in the bonnet (-7.2 kg), both side sills (-499 grams each), the front spoiler (+240 grams of aerodynamic improvement and good looks), the newly designed integrated rear diffuser (-386 grams) as well as the lighter carbon fibre reinforced, manually adjustable Sabelt® racing bucket seats (-7.5 kgs each). The Sabelt seats also provide the driver and front passenger with perfect lateral and shoulder support in an enhanced seating position geared toward performance driving.
Maximum power is still 275 hp and torque is up to 378 Nm, the same as the i30 N with Performance Package. The i30 N Project C’s reduced weight and improved responsiveness make for noticeably enhanced feedback to the driver.
“The steering and suspension on i30 N Project C are considered a benchmark for the most demanding i30 N drivers,” explains Alexander Eichler, Head of High-Performance Vehicle Test and Development at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre. “‘Project C’ refers specifically to the Namyang R&D Centre’s high-performance circuit called ‘Area C’, but the car has been through similarly arduous testing at the Nürburgring Hyundai Technical Centre in Meuspath.”
The i30 N Project C is 6 mm closer to the road – with centre of gravity height effectively 8.8 mm lower – thanks to new internal calibrations for the existing i30 N shock absorbers and new shorter higher-stiffness suspension springs. The rear wheel hangers – or ‘knuckles’ – at the hubs together remove a surprising 4.66 kgs as here they are made from aluminium not steel. Project C also has a stiffness bar behind the rear seats, from the i30 N’s Performance Package, for greater overall balance at higher speeds and particularly during aggressive weight transfers in curves.
All driving modes have been specifically calibrated for Project C, and both the Sport and N drive modes give drivers greater direct feedback for an even stronger fun-to-drive effect. The extremely dynamic N mode in this case is designed for the required agility and predictability while on race-track quality tarmac in the hands of more experienced drivers.
Sleek and seriously functional design
The Project C interior features Alcantara® highlights, most noticeably around the steering wheel, handbrake and manual shift lever. Like many of the changes inside the car, the brushed aluminium billet manual shift knob – shaped like a piston head – combines functionality and design, fitting perfectly in the hand for the short precise shifts. Not only the brake callipers outside but also all seat belts inside feature the Deep Orange colour theme used for Project C details. The look of the completely new Sabelt bucket seats also gets Deep Orange stitching and stripes. The drive mode and N-mode thumb paddles on the steering wheel are now in Deep Orange and the limited edition xxx/600 badge on the passenger side signals the exclusivity of this limited edition.
The exterior design is dominated by dark matte grey, with all CFRP parts presenting the coveted carbon fibre weave in high gloss.
With Project C, Hyundai pushes the limits of the i30 N, providing an all-new experience as well as pure dynamic and responsive satisfaction.
Visitors to the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) will be able to experience the public world premiere of the i30 N Project C on 11 September. The new model will be strictly limited to 600 units, and starts deliveries in select markets across Europe later this year. The limited edition i30 N Project C will be manufactured in the HMMC plant in Nošovice near Frýdek-Místek, in the Czech Republic.