Hyundai's hot hatch prototype sounds like thunder
Audio emerges of new Hyundai i30 N hot hatch engine in full song
Is Hyundai cool in 2016? They make some of the most dependable and attractive cars on the market, and are now slowly developing some sporting nous thanks to their exploits in the World Rally Championship (insert obvious Hayden Paddon plug here).
Do those things make them a cool brand? I remember pondering the question late last year when the news first broke about their 'hot' N division brand-within-a-brand. Of course, to 'be cool' is completely subjective. But at the same time, the automotive world is full of different brand names and models that everyone with a motoring interest is expected to simply believe are cool. Aston Martin, Tesla's Model S, the E30-gen BMW M3 — if you're into cars but don't consider those things cool, be prepared for people to recklessly chop you out of their life.
And now to throw a spanner in the works, Hyundai's first audio from their N division sounds like a bag of kitchen door handles thrown into a tree chipper made of tungsten. It sounds vicious.
What's the engine? It's a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-banger — in keeping with its most likely rivals from Japan and Europe. What's it going to look like? Not sure, but I think it's safe to assume that it won't simply look like an i30 draped with a shower curtain from your mother's bathroom a la the video. Photos reportedly showing the i30 N wearing a thick coat of camouflage have surfaced, showing the outline of a pretty serious looking body kit.
But, to tie neatly back to the first question — is Hyundai cool?
If they can produce things that sound like this, probably. Let's hope the bite can match the bark.