Late last week, Hyundai Australia unveiled the wild iMax N ‘Drift Bus’ to compete in the 2019 World Time Attack Challenge. Just before the tail-happy van’s on-track debut, Car Advice had the chance to put it through its paces.
Hyundai started out with a regular iMax, rolled it into one of its shops, and set about transforming it into an absolute monster. First on the agenda was a new engine. Gone is the standard diesel mill and in its place sits a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 402 HP and 409 lb-ft (555 Nm) of torque. This engine is coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending all that power to the rear wheels.
Unlike the i30 N hatchback and i30 Fastback N also built by Hyundai’s N performance division, the iMax ‘Drift Bus’ isn’t about providing the most amount of grip possible and has actually been engineered to easily oversteer, hence its name. In fact, it competed in a series of drifting events last weekend in Sydney.
Complementing the new powertrain are a set of electronically-controlled dampers and upgraded brakes. There are also 19-inch alloy wheels from the i30 N fitted with performance tires. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the car also has a perfect 50-50 weight distribution with eight people onboard.
As you may imagine, a car of this size isn’t exactly what you’d describe as ‘delicate’ but more of a brute through the corners. It still seems to perform quite well, however, and as the reviewer notes, is impressively fast in a straight line thanks to that twin-turbo engine.