Sharper, lighter Hyundai i30 N Project C makes debut

Hyundai’s first ever hot hatch has gone even hotter with the official unveiling of the i30 N Project C at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.

Based on the highly acclaimed i30 N hatch, the Project C gets its name from the Area C test track at Hyundai’s Namyang R&D centre in South Korea. So it makes no mistake that the special edition model is the go-faster, track-focused variant of the i30 N.

The exterior gets a cool matte grey paint job and is dressed up with racy front bumper splitter, side skirt extensions and deeper rear diffuser, all made entirely of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).

The lightweight material has also found its way to the bonnet and the wheels are now forged OZ racing 19-inch light alloys. The latter alone account for 22 kgs of shed weight.

Further weight reduction comes from the lighter manually operated Sabelt competition front bucket seats with CFRP backings and lighter suspension components.

All up the i30 N Project C is 50kg lighter than the ‘standard’ i30 N hatch, tipping the scale at just 1,379kg (kerb weight).

The weight loss is matched by a lowered ride height, with the car sitting 6mm closer to the ground thanks to new shorter higher-stiffness suspension springs. Further improving handling, the Project C is also fitted with the rear strut tower brace from the i30 N’s Performance Package.

On the inside, the special edition model boasts Alcantara highlights around the steering wheel, handbrake and shift lever. Made from brushed aluminium, the manual shift knob is shaped like a piston head and serves as a constant reminder that you’re in something special.

Matching the brake calipers, all seat belts feature the Deep Orange colour theme used for Project C details. The Sabelt bucket seats also gets Deep Orange stitching and stripes. The same colour highlight is also used for the drive mode and N-mode thumb paddles on the steering wheel.

Lastly, a limited edition build plate on the passenger side expresses the exclusiveness of the i30 N Project C, of which only 600 examples will be made.

Power comes from the same 2.0-litre turbocharged, direct-injected in-line 4-cylinder petrol engine found in the i30 N Performance. It develops 202kW @ 6,000rpm and 353Nm @ 1,450-4,700rpm, channelled to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox with rev matching.

With less weight to carry, the i30 N Project C will nudge 100km/h from rest in 6.0 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds quicker than the i30 N Performance.

The i30 N Project C will be exclusively sold in Europe, with none of the 600 units destined for Australia. Sorry folks.

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