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Hyundai's made a lighter, harder-cored i30N hot hatch

But placards at the ready, because the Project C's not coming to the UK

Forbidden fruit is something Hyundai’s pretty good at. It recently launched a new Veloster – complete with N performance version – getting us all excited before confirming we won’t see it in Britain.

You can add this to the list, too. It’s the Hyundai i30N Project C, a lightweight, track-focused, ‘Ring-developed version of its already reasonably light, track-focused, ‘Ring-developed hot hatch. We’re very sad.

While information is fairly scant – the camouflage should tell you this isn’t quite a finished car – it’s fair to view this as Hyundai’s equivalent to something like a Megane Trophy or Golf GTI Clubsport. It’s the regular, already pretty boisterous i30N with harder cored components and the skimming of weight (and therefore lap times).

“The unique specification includes carbon fibre-reinforced plastic materials and motorsport-inspired 19-inch wheels,” says Hyundai, “making the i30 N Project C notably lighter than the standard i30 N and more responsive than ever to driver input.” It also cites “dedicated aerodynamic touches” and lower ride height as contributing factors to an even sharper driving experience than standard.

Something that’d excite us greatly if it was actually coming to Britain. The Project C appears to keep the regular i30N Performance’s 271bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine, but with a likely weight of around 1.3 tonnes, we suspect its 0-62mph time to begin with a five and – with the help of that new aero – its 155mph top speed to climb. More stats as we have them.

If you’re wondering about the name, it refers to the slightly eerie-sounding ‘Area C’, the track within Hyundai’s Namyang proving ground where the car spent a good chunk of its development.

Hyundai’s making 600 i30N Project Cs, all of them for left-hand-drive markets in Europe. We’ll see it in all its orangey goodness – without disguise – at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Where we may also be chaining ourselves to the Hyundai stand in protest until they promise to send some to Britain…

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