The Ford Focus RS is one of the best hot hatches on sale today and is a market leader for Ford. But with success comes rivals, and at the Paris Motor show Hyundai revealed the RN30 Concept an exciting looking machine aimed straight at the Focus RS. Now some of you may be sniggering thinking that Hyundai couldn’t possibly compete with the might of Ford. But over the past few years Hyundai has slowly become a maker of good cars, the i10, i20 and i30 are all surprisingly fun to drive, cheap to run and I think not completely hideous to look at. This may be all well and good but you may say that Hyundai aren’t the sort of company with a sporting background, but again you’d be wrong the Hyundai i20 rally car has been taking on the big boys of the rally world, even getting a 1-2 finish in the German rally in 2014.
To compete with Ford though Hyundai would really have to up their game though, and they have the RN30, powered by a brand new 2.0 litre turbo unit the RN30 has a impressive 380BHP and 332lb-ft of torque easily rivalling the figures of the Focus RS, and Hyundai have even made sure that all the parts of the engine are forged rather than cast, providing more strength and durability. To match the Focus RS the RN30 even has all wheel drive to make sure all that power gets transferred to the road, and not just a plume of tyre smoke. Hyundai also boast that: “The Electronic Variable Exhaust system provides a surge of aural pleasure by emitting a strong exhaust sound consistent with the visceral sensations produced by the rapid acceleration.” In other words it sounds good.
Hyundai say the focus has been given to get the RN30 as light as possible with a low centre of gravity. Instead of using carbon fibre like in most high performance car, Hyundai decided to go for plastic (doesn’t really have the same ring to it does it) Hyundai say: This weight-saving innovation is light, highly durable and environmentally-friendly and is used throughout the new concept to help boost handling and acceleration. Whilst based on the new i30 the RN30 has received a number of visual upgrades including aggressive rear wing and diffuser along with a large splitter at the front, all to help with downforce. The new body kit on the RN30 gives the car a very aggressive stance with wide arches and vents coming out of everywhere you look.
So can the RN30 compete with the Focus RS, on paper it can, the figures coming from Hyundai are really impressive and give a sign of what to look out for in the future from Hyundai’s N Division. Until the RN30 is green lit by Hyundai and is no longer just a concept we may never know how it actually performs on the road. Where the Focus RS tries to be great everywhere, it very much seems that the RN30 is trying to be a track car rather than a hot hatch, the aggressive stripped out interior is a far cry from Fords comfortable Recaros. If and when the RN30 makes it to showrooms we will likely have another big fast Ford fro it to compete with anyway. Sadly the RN30 looks like merely a pipe dream at the moment.
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