Last year, Hyundai announced the limited-edition i30 N Project C ahead of its debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show and followed up with the full specs. The Project C is a lighter and lower version of the i30 N’s performance trim. The i30 N Project C is limited to 600 units and available only to European customers. This hot hatch is just more forbidden fruit to add to the pile. Sigh.

Hyundai i30 N Project C announced for 2019 IAA in Frankfurt
Hyundai Motor Europe

The Project C gets its name from Hyundai’s high-performance “Area C” testing track at the Namyang R&D center in Korea,  the official press release reveals. Indeed, you could see a depiction of the track in the original camouflage wrap, along with a large stylized “C.” This is place that the Hyundai N division — the Korean automaker’s skunkworks — calls home. The car was also tested at the Nürburgring Hyundai Technical Center in Meuspath.

Adding lightness

The Hyundai i30 N Project C utilizes carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in its construction, including the front splitter, rear diffuser, hood, and N-branded side sills . Sabelt competition front bucket seats are backed with CFRP. Combined with forged 19-inch OZ wheels, the Project C is more nimble than its i30 N sibling, with a lower center of gravity. It is 110 pounds lighter than the i30 N at 3,075 pounds and it sits about .2 inches closer to the ground.

Check this out: The 2020 Mini Cooper SE is an electric version of the road-going go-kart

“The i30 N Project C is the next emotional step in following the success of the i30 N, demonstrating that Hyundai is pushing the envelope even more to excite motorsport enthusiasts,” Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Division, said in a press release. “With this limited edition, we have strategically reduced the weight of the car where it can help most, made its overall handling more immediate and optimised its design for even greater performance.”

Track attack

The Project C uses the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine you’ll find in the i30 N and some versions of the Veloster, Kia Stinger, and Genesis G70 among others. Here it is tweaked to match the 271 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque produced by the i30 N Performance Package. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. The steering, dampers, and Sport and N drive modes have been calibrated specifically for the Project C to provide greater feedback.

Hyundai added Alcantara trim to the Project C interior to distinguish it from its tamer brethren. You’ll find the soft-touch material around the steering wheel, handbrake, and shift lever. The shift knob is made from brushed aluminium. The Project C’s Deep Orange theme extends to the seatbelts, stitching, and thumb paddles, matching the brake calipers. A numbered badge on the passenger side lets you know which of the 600 cars you are driving. When it comes to paint, the only option is “dark matte gray.”

Hyundai cites a 0-62 mph run of six seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.


The Project C may owe some of its flavor to the i30 N ‘N Option’ show car that was revealed at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. This concept vehicle gave “a glimpse of Hyundai’s future activities under N,” its press release reads. Though power remained the same, the car featured carbon fiber parts, lightweight wheels wrapped in semi-slick tires, and a unique matte paint job. Lightweight sport bucket seats, Alcantara trim, performance pedals, and carbon accents could be found inside.

This hot hatch is just more forbidden fruit to add to the pile

We know the i30 as the Elantra GT in the U.S., though we have yet to receive a high-performance version. The i30 was the first model to wear the N badge, ahead of the Veloster. We at least got to sample that flavor when the Veloster N appeared on dealer lots at the end of 2018.

Europeans who want more utility to go with their affordable performance can opt for the five-door i30 Fastback N. It’s just not fair.

Update notes: Added full specs for the Hyundai i30 N Project C. 

We recommend:

2020 Cadillac CT4: Hands-free driving is available, CT4-V gets 325 hp

The 2020 Audi RS 7 Sportback debuts with 600 horsepower and room for 5

This New Yorker moved to Florida to be with his 1998 Eagle Talon TSi

Oloi founder Thomas Lee and his track-prepped 2007 Honda S2000

The Volkswagen GTI Mk7 will steer you toward driving heaven

Leave a Reply