Hyundai’s N division cut its teeth with the game-changing i30 N and has now turned its attention to something much more unusual: the iMax eight-seat people mover.
Set to compete in the 2019 World Time Attack Challenge in Australia over the weekend, the Hyundai iMax N takes inspiration from an image posted earlier this year of an iMax N by Hyundai Germany as an April Fool’s prank. Hyundai’s Australian arm, though, clearly took the idea seriously.
The regular 2.5-liter CRDi diesel powering the production version of the eight-seater has been ditched, and in its place sits a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 delivering over 402 HP (300 kW) and 409 lb-ft (555 Nm) of torque. All of this power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The upgrades don’t stop here, as the tuned minivan has electronically-controlled dampers and upgraded brakes, as well as 19-inch alloy wheels from the i30 N wrapped in performance rubber. Perhaps the craziest thing about the iMax N is that it’s actually been designed to go sideways around corners, earning it the name ‘Drift Bus.’ It also has a perfect 50-50 weight distribution with eight people onboard. The exterior is painted in the same light shade of blue as other N-branded models.
Hyundai has no intention of putting the iMax N into production, stating that it was simply created to “demonstrate Hyundai Australia’s passion for N-gaging and exhilarating vehicles for drivers… and as many passengers as possible.”
The iMax N will compete in the Clubsprint Class, Flying 500 and Drifting Cup events throughout the weekend.