If you were left feeling short-changed by Hyundai's decision not to introduce the i30 N Project C in Britain, perhaps the prospect of something even more extreme will help. The Korean brand's Australian motorsport squad is entering the World Time Attack Competition in Sydney this month, using a lightly modified i30 N in the Clubsprint class with never before used parts intended for introduction on the road.
Among the upgrades on the competition car are a new turbocharger and intercooler, along with a freer flowing exhaust and bespoke ECU, suggesting the 2.0 T-GDI tips the 300hp mark. The implication that one or more of the modifications might make it to the production model is a tantalising one - not least because it was partly a shortfall in power which saw the i30 N fall to its direct rivals in our recent group test.
In the Time Attack car, the power boost is mated to Project C chassis parts. It gets a weight saving carbon fibre bonnet and lightweight OZ alloy wheels, along with stiffer springs and firmer damping. Naturally the purpose-built Aussie machine goes one step further with a part-stripped interior, gaining only a racing seat, harness and roll cage as per regulations.
Elsewhere, the biggest departure from Hyundai's road machine is that bodywork. Hyundai says the Time Attack i30 N produces downforce and, well, we'd be inclined to believe it. That's what you get with a big front splitter and enormous rear wing, which have been tested to produce 250kg and 450kg of downforce at 124mph respectively.
Hyundai's not just heading to Sydney to test a few new bits, of course, the manufacturer is there to compete. But, as it did in PH's hot hatch head-to-head, it'll do so with a slight disadvantage to rivals, according Dr Sammy Diasinos of Dynamic Aero Solutions, the firm that helped enable the downforce. He said that the "whole project is about showing what the standard car is capable of doing, so the aero is the only major change because that's what is required to be competitive at World Time Attack", before adding that "the car will be up against some highly modified cars even in Clubsprint".
However, while the lightly modified i30 N might not have the best shot of winning its class on the 18-19 October event, its maker is certainly keen to whip up a storm. The N division is taking its RM16 concept to the Sydney Time Attack round as well, a car that's widely believed to be a testbed for a future hybrid halo model co-developed with Rimac. But that's further into the future. For now, we'd happily take a slightly more potent i30 N.