For an April Fools gag, the Hyundai N Roadster is very believable and flushed out

Hyundai has to be one of the most determined manufacturers in the world, and its ascent through the automotive ranks in recent years stands testament to that. The South Korean automaker is definitely praiseworthy for its business model and the feeling of high ambitions its officials always exude during interviews and press conferences, so if it were to now announce it was making a Mazda MX-5 Miata rival, we really wouldn’t be all that surprised.

Hyundia Should Put the N Roadster Into Production

The Hyundai N Roadster Wouldn't be a Joke If It Was Built to Fight the Mazda MX-5 Miata
- image 833510

Yesterday the automaker released a series of photos showing a very believable attempt at a compact drop-top model. No, it wasn’t a real car, but somebody at Hyundai went to all the trouble to create a rather pretty and believable body using 3D modeling techniques - this isn’t just a rendering, a photo chop and paste, but an actual 3D model that you can spin around and look at.

Called the Hyundai N Roadster, it’s sadly nothing more than an April Fools joke from the Korean manufacturer, but is it more than that?

I mean, they could have chosen to, I don’t know, make a pickup convertible version of the i10 that also floats and has an onboard compressor to provide divers with air from the surface. That would have been funny - this made up N Roadster, on the other hand, isn’t especially amusing since aside from the Mazda MX-5, you really don’t have many good, affordable drop-top options to go for.

The Hyundai N Roadster Wouldn't be a Joke If It Was Built to Fight the Mazda MX-5 Miata
- image 833509

We’d really love it if Hyundai made something like this, especially since it is in a period of abundance in its history, and it could certainly direct some resources towards such a project without running the risk of being bankrupted by it. The problem is it doesn’t have a rear-wheel drive chassis architecture that’s small enough for a model like this and if it were to use the platform that underpins the larger Genesis models and the Kia Stinger, then it’d end up being too heavy.

Such a vehicle would require a new platform, which is expensive, but it’s certainly better if they just used hatchback underpinnings for it and ruin it by making it front-wheel drive only.

But by the looks of the N Roadster, it’s very clearly designed to be a rear-wheel drive car, with a long hood and small passenger compartment strapped to the back of it - exactly the formula of the MX-5 roadster.
The Hyundai N Roadster Wouldn't be a Joke If It Was Built to Fight the Mazda MX-5 Miata
- image 833514

But since Hyundai presented this merely as a “ha ha” moment instead of an “aha!” moment, it’s pretty clear it has no plans to ever make this, and that’s a real shame. The world will never have enough small, fun, rear-wheel drive roadsters. The Korean brand is instead focusing on changing the perception of its image by making increasingly luxurious cars both for its core lineup and the new Genesis premium sub-brand as well. Now that they’ve shown us this, we cannot unsee it, and if they don’t make it, it will haunt us for the rest of our days as automotive journos. A case of what might have been had they actually bothered to take the idea seriously.

Further reading

2016 Mazda MX-5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 614586

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N Exterior
- image 761352

Read our full review on the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N.

2018 Hyundai i30 N Exterior High Resolution
- image 723387

Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder:
Related Manufacturers