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At the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Hyundai Motor launched the i30 N Project C limited edition, a lighter, lower and more extreme version of the critically acclaimed i30 N. The Project C interpretation of the brand's first-ever high-performance model intensifies the i30 N experience using 'added lightness' and even more responsive handling - for more smiles for our most demanding drivers. It is 50 kgs lighter (officially: 50.004 kgs lighter), sits 6 mm closer to the road, and features strong exterior and interior design.
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 Hyundai 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 Center 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 immediate and optimised its design for even greater performance."
Hyundai i30 N Project C cuts weight with CFRP 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 play a big part in vital unsprung weight reduction. The imposing 19-inch wheels alone account for 22 kgs of shed weight.
Using CFRP in the bonnet (-7.2 kgs), both side sills (-499 grams each), front splitter (+240 grams of pure aerodynamic function and good looks), newly designed integrated rear diffuser (-386 grams) as well as the lighter manually operated Sabelt® competition front bucket seats with CFRP backings (-7.5 kgs each), helps account for the lost weight. 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.
Power remains 275 PS and overboost-torque at 378 Nm as with the i30 N with Performance Package, while the Hyundai i30 N Project C's reduced weight and added 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 enthusiastic i30 N drivers," explains Alexander Eichler, Head of High Performance Vehicle Test and Development at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center. "'Project C' refers specifically to the Namyang R&D Center's high-performance circuit called 'Area C'. But the car has been equally dialed in at the Nürburgring Hyundai Technical Center in Meuspath."
The Hyundai 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 dampers 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 the rear cargo zone stiffness bar of the i30 N's Performance Package for greater overall balance at higher speeds and particularly during aggressive weight transfers in curves.
Meanwhile, 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.
A 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 pistonhead - combines functionality and design, fitting perfectly in the hand for the short precise shifts. Not only the brake calipers 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. And now in Deep Orange are the drive mode and N-mode thumb paddles on the steering wheel. A limited edition xx/600 badge on the passenger side signals the exclusiveness 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.