Hyundai Motor launches new division for high-performance vehicles

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2018-03-02 16:11 Updated : 2018-03-05 10:44
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[Photographed by Park Sae-jin]



SEOUL -- To break away from the generalized image of a traditional carmaker, Hyundai Motor launched a new division for high-performance and motorsports vehicles, led by a former official from Germany carmaker BMW.

Hyundai has built up its reputation as a leading producer of cost-effective vehicles, but it still bears the brand image of a bargain brand. Hyundai cars have been shunned by consumers looking for high-performance vehicles.

Hyundai said in a statement on Friday that it has established the High Performance Vehicle & Motorsport Division headed by Thomas Shemera, the former head of BMW's M Division. "We plan to allure car manias who want 'driving fun' with our high-performance vehicles and their unique characteristics," it said.

In an attempt to produce high-performance vehicles, it has sponsored motorsport events at home and abroad and operates motorsport teams including a World Rally Championship team.

Hyundai's high-performance vehicles include i20 R5, a rally racer, and i30N, a high-performance version of its hatchback model i30. Hyundai won two international circuit races with i30N TCR, a pumped-up version of i30N.  The company plans to release Veloster N, a high-performance version of its four-door hatchback Veloster, this year.

Global carmakers have used high-performance vehicles for marketing. BMW is famous for an array of vehicles pumped up to their limits.