According to multiple reports from mainly Australian outlets, Hyundai executives confirmed the South Korean automaker is developing a widely rumoured supercar in partnership with its N performance subbrand.
In a report by Wheels Australia, Hyundai’s head of design, Luc Donckerwolke, and its head of research and development, Woong-chul Yang, confirmed the project.
“We are definitely doing it,” said Donckerwolke in an interview with Wheels. “I’m actually reviewing the project next week, after CES. I can’t tell you much more about it, but we are definitely doing it. We are not going autonomous for all of our cars!”
In June 2016, Hyundai famously hired Donckerwolke away from Volkswagen Group—where he designed vehicles for its Seat, Audi, Lamborghini, and Bentley marques—after Hyundai announced its own luxury brand, Genesis, in 2015.
Meanwhile, Yang—who also confirmed the supercar project—stated another star hire, former BMW M boss Albert Biermann, would likely oversee the supercar’s development at Hyundai’s N performance division.
“We are very much interested in it and as far as I’m concerned I’d love to promote that [a sportscar],” Yang told Wheels. “That’s something our brand needs at this time. The people working at N will be working on that, but how we put it in the N or maybe above N … it’s pretty high performance. It’s serious.”
Yang further confirmed the two-seater will use electrification to boost performance, much like the latest top-flight supercars from Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren.
From zero to hero
Just 30 years ago, Hyundai entered the Canadian market with the Pony compact hatchback, a model that was almost immediately derided by critics and the public for its dismal quality and susceptibility to rust.
With each successive generation of vehicles from the automaker, quality improved and popularity soared in Canada. Hyundai and sister-brand Kia now account for 9.5% of all vehicles sold in the country.
Hyundai has been reaching higher and higher up the automotive ladder ever since the launch of its Genesis models, which initially included an affordable sport coupe and large luxury sedan sold under the Hyundai brand.
Genesis, now a standalone brand, currently sells three separate luxury sedans and has additional models—including a much-needed SUV—in the pipeline.