Hyundai is looking to attract the younger population and spearheading its latest objective is its plans to launch a performance brand that will help the Korean company ditch its value-focused image.
“The idea of Hyundai was to connect the experience, engineering-wise, of the sport program with high performance concept,” said Hyundai Motorsport team principal Michel Nandan, adding that the project is at least one year away.
Hyundai Motorsport team manager Alain Penasse believes that their turning point could be the World Rally Championship campaign which will improve the automaker’s image and increase sales of future performance vehicles.
The sub-brand is expected to rival Nissan performance arm Nismo and debut in 2015, when the company will release its next-generation i20 and also the i20-based WRC rally. While the production version of the hatchback is built and exported from India, Hyundai now plans to make the shell of next-gen rally car here.
India is the production hub for Hyundai hatchbacks and we won’t be surprised if we are one of the first countries to get the new models. It will be interesting to see if Hyundai makes any announcements at the forthcoming Auto Expo in 2014.