Hyundai plans to launch at least two more N performance vehicles and may eventually develop an electrified version as it looks for a more sporty look, a senior executive told Automotive News.
The i30 Fastback N, which will debut in October at the Paris Motor Show, will hit European showrooms later in the year.
Albert Bierermann, Hyundai-Kia's head of vehicle testing and high-performance development, said a fourth entry - possibly an SUV - was budgeted in its long-term plan, but the automaker could surprise with another intermediate model, bringing the total to five.
"Within the next two or three months, we'll have a car that we can probably show Vice Chairman Chung [Eui-Sun] and our senior management," he said on the sidelines of a Veloster N test drive.
Biermann said his team "could come up with a car in quite a short time", depending on the segment.
The i30 Fastback N was not originally planned, but was lit up shortly after Hyundai-Kia design chief Peter Schreyer showed the mock-up to Bermann, who quickly decided that the working version would be a good fit for a sports sedan.
The German engineer, the second-largest non-Korean team leader after Schreyer, also said his team is considering what alternative transmission could best use the Model N.
“When we think about post-2021 vehicles for N, I think we can’t avoid electrification,” he said.
Increasingly stringent emissions legislation in major markets, such as those coming into effect in the next decade in the European Union, require a brand to further reduce its carbon footprint.
“For example, we have the Ioniq EV.
While Hyundai is a leader in fuel cell vehicles, Biermann wasn't convinced these transmissions had high enough energy densities to meet the needs of a compact sports car.
“We don't want to take too much risk,” he said.