Hyundai’s Performance Brand Could Spawn Sportier i20, i30, Veloster
Hyundai is planning to launch a performance brand that will help the brand ditch their current budget oriented image!
It’s been long speculated whether Hyundai will launch a performance brand or not.
According to latest rumors, the South Korean carmaker has already taken a major step towards that direction by re-entering the World Rally Championship in 2014.
As mentioned last week, Hyundai is currently running a pair of specially developed i20 WRC rally cars.
The carmaker’s motorsport division has already completed a series of testing programs to gather all the important data.
Hyundai has already hit a number of different locations across Europe so that the i20 rally car could be tested in a variety of different road conditions and terrains.
The hope was that the i20 rally car gets to experience many of the conditions it will face during the 2014 WRC season.
Just recently, Michel Nandan, team principal of Hyundai Motorsport confirmed Hyundai also plans to release a new in-house performance brand.
Reportedly, the i20 performance car will be the brands first hot hatchback released to the market.
Latest reports suggest the i20 hot hatchback will be released sometime in 2015 and will be based on the second-generation Hyundai i20, which will make its official public premiere at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2014!
The automaker’s performance brand could later spawn several other sporty hatchbacks including the i30, Veloster coupe and even a rear-wheel-drive Genesis Coupe.
Hyundai’s Longterm Racing Goals
- Entering WRC in order to completely overhaul its budget-oriented image
- Improved sales as a result of the WRC participation
- The launch of a performance brand
Hyundai Performance Brand Vehicle Candidates
- Hyundai i20 is likely the very-first candidate for a performance version.
- Hyundai Veloster is already offered with a turbocharged engine, but the second-generation model could be launched under the performance brand with further improved driving dynamics and increased raw power.
- There’s no reason why Hyundai i30 hatchback couldn’t turn into a street racer. After all, its sibling model, the pro_cee’d hatchback built by Kia, already exists in Europe as a GT hot hatchback!
- Genesis Coupe is the perfect candidate to top the carmaker’s performance brand. Several heavily modified models that will appear at the 2013 SEMA may indicate Hyundai’s plans to actually launch a similar model to the market within two to three years!