Hyundai’s N Division is mulling hybrid technology for its next generation of performance cars, according to Albert Biermann, Hyundai N’s executive technical advisor and former chief of BMW’s M Division.

    Speaking with media at the launch of the all-electric Ioniq 5 N, Mr Biermann was asked by CarExpert regarding prospects for hybrid technology in the brand’s future go-fast portfolio and said the N Division has projects well underway.

    “Technically yes. We will develop more powerful hybrids for other vehicles within the Hyundai Motor Group,” Mr Biermann said.

    “I see an opportunity to have N power as a hybrid – let’s say for i30 N Sedan, it’s an option. If it will happen I cannot tell you at this point, but from a technical point it’s possible.”

    “Also I’m pushing a project for another small car with a hybrid concept. But it’s too early to say if there’s any chance to bring it to our customers.”

    Mr Biermann’s comments referring to “other vehicles within the Hyundai Motor Group” point to the N Division having a strong role in the development of higher-end hybrid tech within the Group, including the reported range of hybrid-powered Genesis products due to launch as early as 2025.

    It’s understood a petrol-electric drivetrain based around the Hyundai Motor Group’s 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine is in the works, bound for the aforementioned Genesis hybrids as well as the next-generation Hyundai Palisade.

    The 2.5T sans electrification already does service in the Hyundai Sonata as well as the new Santa Fe, and Mr Biermann has previously said that the larger petrol engine would fit in the i30 Sedan N, hinting at a larger-engined next generation model – now, is he saying it can go hybrid too?

    Hyundai only offers the i30 Sedan N – or the Avante N/Elantra N as it is called overseas – in markets like Australia, South Korea and North America.

    It isn’t sold in Europe and the UK, where Hyundai just announced the discontinuation of the existing i20 N, i30 Hatch N and i30 Fastback N as the company forges towards an all-electric lineup by 2035.

    Mr Biermann said the brand will have to take different approaches depending on region, particularly if Hyundai N wants to continue offering attainable performance products.

    “We have to accept there is a transition phase, and this transition phase is very different in timing in different regions. We are a global player, we go into many areas and the transition [to EV] will take quite some time in some regions,” Mr Biermann said.

    “I strongly suggest within our company that we also offer hybrids for N in smaller car segments, to make the transition a little smoother.

    “Although I would love if we could give everybody a small, crazy B-segment Hyundai N car [that’s] full crazy, full fun – it’s not that easy at this point, we’ll see.”

    Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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