Hyundai Considering New N-Badged Sports Car To Rival The BMW M4
Korean automaker is going all-in in its pursuit of its German rivalsby Kirby Garlitos, on
Hyundai has never been shy about its ambition to compete against the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It comes as little surprise then that the Korean automaker is planning to build a sports car that will fall under its recently launched “N” performance division. The model, according to reports, will set its sights on the BMW M4.
Up to this moment, Hyundai has been coy about its plans for its N division. The only known model that will be part of the lineup is a performance version of the front-drive i30 hatchback. Now it appears that you can add a second model to that list, and if Hyundai really is targeting the M4, it could turn to the upcoming Genesis G70 coupe as the basis for the car.
N Division chief Albert Biermann recently made comments about the G70, describing it as an entirely new model that will come with a new architecture and “different axle concepts”. It will also be geared towards being sportier than the rest of the Genesis lineup, so the framework will be there for the model to eventually spawn an N performance model.
The development of the Genesis G70 N coupe will hinge on a number of other factors, none more important than the kind of engine it’s going to have under its hood. If Hyundai wants to play it safe, it could tap an old reliable (the 5.0-liter Tau V-8 engine) to give it the kind of power that can compete with the M4. But if Biermann, who incidentally joined Hyundai after leaving behind his previous job as the chief engineer for BMW M, really wants to swing for the fences, it could roll out a tuned version of Hyundai’s new 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine to give the sports car a more modern power source with the capacity to pump out in excess of 400 ponies, right around the M4’s 425-horsepower output.
There’s still no timetable on when this model will surface, but knowing how serious Hyundai is about it, plan for global domination. The question isn’t “if” the model will arrive, it is “when” it’s going to arrive.
Note: Genesis G90 pictured here.
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Why it matters
Hyundai has come a really long way, hasn’t it? As recently as the turn of the millenium, the Korean automaker was still trying to find its footing in the industry. Slowly but surely, Hyundai began investing in the quality, design, manufacturing, and long-term research of its vehicles. That strategy has paid off for the company as it now sits as the fourth largest vehicle manufacturer in the world, trailing only Toyota, General Motors, and Volkswagen in that particular order.
Hyundai’s growth has allowed it to expand its own portfolio to include the Genesis luxury car brand to rival Lexus, Infiniti, and BMW and the N performance division. News of the company’s plan to develop a rival sports coupe to take on the BMW M4 fits into the kind of long-term plan Hyundai has laid out for itself to help in its continued growth.
I wish there were more details about the car, but at this point, it’s hard not to blame the company for showing all of its cards. As far as Hyundai has come, there are still sentiments within and around the industry that it still has a long way to go if it hopes to be treated as equals to its European rivals. That’s why it’s important for this car to hit all the right spots and become a worthy rival to the M4. If that means keeping details on the down-low until there’s something more tangible to announce, then I don’t mind waiting for that day to come.
Here’s the thing, though. The longer Hyundai makes us wait, the higher our expectations become. I just hope that if the car does come to life, it’s going to be as good as the company intends it to be. Beating a car like the M4 isn’t going to be easy so if Hyundai has any plans of doing it, it needs to hit that proverbial baseball out of the park.
Read our full on review on the Genesis G90 here.