Hyundai maybe the second largest carmaker in India but the manufacturer has always shied away from its bringing its performance models to India which it sells in markets abroad. We have been given glimpses of several Hyundai N performance cars at quite a few Auto Expos but none of them were ever officially launched in the market. Now rumors of Hyundai's N performance brand making a debut in India has been rife for quite some time and it now seems that it could finally be round the corner.
Hyundai's N performance brand is fairly new but the company is thrilled with its success. Hyundai's N-badged cars are fairly popular in Germany and the UK but more importantly, it has given the brand a new identity and quite some respect. Just like Volkswagen's GTI lineup or Ford's RS models, the N-badged cars can trace back their DNA to Hyundai's World Rally Championship success. Hyundai's N performance brand is named after the carmaker's Namyang R&D centre and Hyundai’s European Technical Centre at the Nürburgring race track in Germany.
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So what's really in store for India? Well, Hyundai is likely to start off with their N-Line of cars from the N sub-brand in India. These 'N-Line cars' are based on regular Hyundai models but come with a more powerful engine, some suspension mods and have various sporty exterior and interior embellishments. Following that, Hyundai could bring some fully blown N-cars to India which have a considerably more powerful engine, a stiffened chassis, better brakes, upgraded springs and dampers and improved steering, essentially a proper performance car. But that's only at a later stage.
Hyundai is pretty confident about their N cars due to its experience in WRC as it helps them in designing a lighter, stronger and safer frame. The first N model in India will likely be the Hyundai i20 N-Line. It is based on the regular i20 with a 120hp 1.0L turbo-petrol engine but gets a sportier exhaust, retuned suspension and a few exterior and interior embellishments. We could be looking at a mid-2021 debut for the i20 N-Line in India but the fact that Hyundai's N-Line of cars do not cost a fortune, it won't have too high a premium over the regular i20. It could even be priced somewhere around INR 12 lakh.
Following that, Hyundai could be looking at bringing the full-blown 204hp 120 N to India as a full import under the 2,500-car quota scheme. This could however be a little expensive (around INR 25-30 lakh) on account of being an import and a proper performance car. If the market responds well to N cars in India, Hyundai could even be looking at local assembly of the more powerful N cars here. Hyundai is also likely to launch N-Line versions of the Nios, Venue and the new Elantra, some of which are already on sale in several markets abroad.
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[News Source - Autocar India]