Hyundai to test i30N hot hatch in 24 Hours Nurburgring

SEOUL-- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's biggest carmaker by sales, said Wednesday it will test its i30N hot hatch in a 24-hour endurance race in Germany this weekend.

Hyundai sent an 8-member driver team, composed of four research engineers and four professional drivers, to the 2017 24 Hours Nurburgring to test components that will eventually make it into production cars.

It is part of the carmaker's pre-production development program. Two stripped-out, near-production specification models will take part in the daylong event which takes place along the 25-kilometer-long "Green Hell" circuit, Hyundai said.

The maker of the Sonata sedan and Santa Fe sport utility vehicle plans to launch the i30N hatchback in Europe later this year. It has been working on the development of performance models, including the 'N' brand, since 2013 to enhance its brand image.

Last year, Hyundai completed the preliminary and final races in the 24 Hours Nurburgring (SP3T class) with the i30N equipped with a 2.0 turbo engine. It aslo completed the preliminary race at SP3T class in April, the company said.

Global carmakers have bolstered their brand images by launching more durable high-performance cars for expansion. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have S, M and AMG performance models in their lineups.

The 24 Hours Nurburgring race is one of Europe's three most prestigious endurance races along with 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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