While Hyundai’s N division has made waves with its performance models like the i30 N and i20 N, the future of petrol-powered N models seems uncertain. According to Hyundai’s technical advisor, Albert Biermann, there might not be another UK-bound, petrol-powered N model in the pipeline.
This isn’t surprising considering the current state of the industry. Other prominent brands like Ford, Renault, and Peugeot have already retired their petrol hot hatches. Stringent emissions regulations and the push for electric vehicles are slowly phasing out these traditional performance cars.
However, Hyundai isn’t planning to replace petrol hot hatches with electric equivalents anytime soon. Biermann revealed that future electric N products will prioritize track performance and will be built on an 800v electronic architecture, as seen in the recently launched Ioniq 5 N.
Developing an 800v architecture for a reasonably priced hatchback is currently not financially viable, given the technology’s costs. Even Kia, Hyundai’s sister company, has unveiled its smallest bespoke electric car, the EV3, which operates on a 400v system. This suggests that similarly sized electric Hyundai models may not meet the technical requirements for an N-badged model.
However, as technology evolves and 800v systems become more feasible for smaller cars, Hyundai could potentially surprise us with an electric N-badged hot hatch that shakes up the market once again. Until then, petrol-powered N models may gradually give way to their electric counterparts in the pursuit of performance and sustainability.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are petrol-powered N models being discontinued?
While there is no official confirmation, Hyundai’s technical advisor suggests that there may not be another petrol-powered N model in the UK market.
Why are petrol hot hatches being phased out?
Stringent emissions regulations and the growing emphasis on electric vehicles have led many brands to retire their petrol-powered hot hatches.
Will there be electric N models to replace the petrol ones?
While Hyundai is focusing on electric N models for track performance, it’s unlikely that they will immediately replace the petrol versions. The current technical requirements and costs make it challenging for smaller-sized electric models to meet the standards of an N-badged hot hatch. However, as technology advances, we might see electric N hot hatches in the future.