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Hyundai i30N hot hatches complete race in Nurburgring

2017/05/29 16:47

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SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co.s' i30N hot hatches completed a 24-hour endurance race in Germany last weekend, performing better than last year, the company said Monday.

Hyundai sent two i30N hatchback models to the 2017 24 Hours Nurburgring to test components that will eventually make it into production cars. They completed the 25-kilometer-long "Green Hell" circuit in Nurburgring, with one of them ranking 50th this year.

With the previous version of the i30N hatchback, Hyundai achieved 90th place in the same endurance competition last year.

In this year's event, 109, or 68 percent, of the 160 participating vehicles finished the race, the company said in a statement.

In this photo taken during a 24-hour endurance race in Nurburgring, Hyundai's i30N hatchbacks run the "Green Hell" circuit. (Courtesy of Hyundai Motor) (Yonhap) In this photo taken during a 24-hour endurance race in Nurburgring, Hyundai's i30N hatchbacks run the "Green Hell" circuit. (Courtesy of Hyundai Motor) (Yonhap)

Hyundai sent an 8-member driver team, composed of four research engineers and four professional drivers, to the race.

It is part of the carmaker's pre-production development program. Two stripped-out, near-production specification models took part in the daylong event.

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 also 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.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr

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