There's both good and bad news to share about N models as Hyundai has announced the Elantra N will live to see a next generation with a gas engine but the i30 N will not. The company's Executive Technical Advisor Albert Biermann made the disclosure this past weekend in an interview with CarExpert during the fourth annual edition of the N Fest at The Bend Motorsports Park held in South Australia.
"The i30 N is quite safe, at least the sedan version, so we will see the next-generation car with a new petrol engine, as it’s already in our long-range plans." To clarify, the i30 N Sedan is the name used by Hyundai for the Elantra N in some markets, while at home in South Korea it's known as the Avante N.
The future doesn’t look so bright for the ICE-powered i30 N hatchback but not because of Hyundai. It was mainly developed for Europe where emissions regulations are stricter than basically anywhere else. With the heavily criticized Euro 7 standard coming into effect in the following years, Albert Biermann hinted N-badged gas cars in some markets will be discontinued:
"Other markets like Europe are dreaming and there's a good chance there will be no further combustion engine N cars in some markets with Euro 7 regulations looming." This statement tells us the Kona N crossover is also living on borrowed time in European Union countries. The i20 N uses a smaller 1.6-liter engine, which Albert Biermann told CarSales that it'll not be discontinued.
"So the i20 N engine, the 1.6, of course, will survive – we use this engine in tons of applications as you know. The 2.0-liter will basically phase out – the turbo – sooner or later, but I think we have a nice replacement available, not to all markets maybe, but with the 2.5 turbo, I think we can still come up with some nice powerful N-cars."
Albert Biermann did mention the five-door i30 N will eventually be followed by an all-electric version, but it'll take a while: "If we're talking EVs, then we could very well see an all-electric i30 N in a hatch body with our B and C-segment plans, but it might take some time to get there, to get it right."
In the meantime, Hyundai is busy putting the finishing touches on the Ioniq 5 N due in 2023. The recently unveiled Ioniq 6 will reportedly get the N treatment as well in the not-too-distant future.