25 August 2017
Hyundai shoots for the (wrong) stars
Will Beaumont (writing in evo magazine) is right when he describes Hyundai’s decision to enter the performance hot hatch market as “bold”. Yet, the car they’re developing to do so is anything but. They have a real chance of putting themselves on the hot hatch map and to let the world know exactly what a South Korean performance car stands for, but they’re squandering it by trying to be German.
First, there’s the looks. The i30 N looks like a German hatch. Then we find out it’s being benchmarked against the Germans, and is being developed by a German on a mountainous German road. There’s nothing wrong with being influenced and inspired by the people at the top of their game, but you know who’s best at doing ‘the Germans’? The Germans.
It’s not like Hyundai don’t have the technical capabilities to make a great car, because it’s clear they do. They also have mountains, and lots of them. South Korea has a deeply rich and unique culture, and where other manufacturers infuse their cars with this identity, there seems to be nothing of the sort from Hyundai, and I think the motoring world is worse off because of it.
It’s great that they’re shooting for the stars - they just need to shoot for the right ones.