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400HP AWD Hyundai Hot Hatch?!

Hyundai plans to reveal its new high-performance dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission by the end of 2019, to match European hot hatch rivals.

In order to stress-test the crucial new automatic transmission, which is predicted to boost sales of the Hyundai i30 N and i30 Fastback N by orders of magnitude, the company is using a 300kW all-wheel drive development car.

The high-performance N car’s production future is not yet clear but it could evolve into a Hyundai rival for the Volkswagen Golf R or even the Mercedes-AMG A 45.

The design may even draw inspiration from the Hyundai RN30 concept from 2016 (pictured), which was touted as a 280kW, all-wheel drive super hatch.

The Hyundai N division, the Korean brand’s high-performance arm, has made no secret of its desire to produce vehicles designed to be flogged around race tracks on a regular basis and the new automatic transmission will be no different.

Hyundai Australia’s senior manager of product planning, Andrew Tuitahi, told carsales.com.au that the brand is “…officially looking at late 2019 for the dual-clutch [transmission launch].”

Tuitahi says he’s already tested and driven the highly-anticipated dual-clutch transmission and that the benchmarking process for the new cog-swapper was significant.

“The key criteria was that the ‘box had to withstand abuse far beyond the targets for the powertrain.

“So a lot of the development work has taken place in a 400hp [300kW] all-wheel drive configuration, even though a majority of the installations will be front-wheel drive at much lower power,” he revealed during the Hyundai i30 Fastback N launch in Adelaide this week.

Quizzed over whether an all-wheel drive Hyundai N car is in the works, the product-planning manager responded “absolutely.”

Significant testing of the i30 N models has taken place in Australia

However, he wouldn’t be drawn on whether it will be an SUV such as the mooted 255kW Hyundai Tucson N or a tantalisingly potent version of the i30 N hatch to rival the Golf R.

“I can’t tell you which model it will be,” he said.

When the new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission makes it showroom debut, which carsales.com.au understands is more likely to launch in 2020, it will be deployed first on the Hyundai i30 N hatch and Fastback models, which have sold more 11,000 units globally thus far.

The Hyundai i30 N hatch was a sell-out success when it launched in Australia in March 2018 with demand oustripping supply. Around 800 of the hot hatches were sold in Australia last year and now supply issues have been sorted Hyundai has plans to roll out more go-fast vehicles moving forward.

The Hyundai i30 Fastback N will also get the new automatic gearbox

“We’ve got some new model activity coming up. We’ll have the dual-clutch transmission, so that’ll be a big sales spike for us. We’re hoping that layering the N experience with Fastback, with the dual-clutch auto, other kinds of product enhancements, maybe some special-editions, we can keep that momentum going,” said Tuitahi.

Benchmarking for the new dual-clutch transmission “was pretty broad” according to Tuitahi.

“Every high-performance dual-clutch transmission is present at the R&D centre whether it’s from a supercar, down to a family car. We have access to every high-performance dual-clutch wet gearbox.”

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Found this over on NASIOC. No source quoted, but it certainly seems plausible and very, very interesting!

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