Nous sommes admiratifs lorsque les constructeurs sortent de leur zone de confort pour construire quelque chose de très spécial.

Nous connaissons tous la division N Performance de Hyundai pour ses i30 N et Veloster N, mais leur dernier produit est d'une tout autre nature. Malheureusement, l'iMax N Drift Bus n'est qu'une pièce unique destinée à la piste et qui fait suite à un autre véhicule étrangement intéressant présenté cette semaine par l'entreprise - le concept Veloster Grappler.

Dans le même esprit que les Ford Transit Supervan et Renault Espace F1, Hyundai a décidé de construire une fourgonnette équipée d'un moteur V6 bi-turbo de 3,5 litres qui remplace le moteur diesel de 2,5 litres de série. Elle développe 402 chevaux et 555 Nm de couple qu'elle envoie aux roues arrière tout en conservant les huit places du fourgon dont vous avez peut-être entendu parler sous le nom de Grand Starex, i800 ou H-1 selon les pays.

Galerie: Hyundai iMax N Drift Bus

Toute cette puissance est transférée à la route par l'intermédiaire d'une boîte de vitesses automatique à huit rapports reliée à un différentiel, tandis que la bande sonore est assurée par un échappement spécifique. L'équipe australienne de Skunkworks, à l'origine de ce projet, a installé un kit carrosserie aérodynamique fait sur-mesure, des amortisseurs modulables et des freins cachés derrière les jantes en alliage de 19 pouces provenant de l'i30 N et enveloppées de pneus performance.

Fait amusant : Hyundai dit que l'iMax N Drift Bus a une répartition parfaite du poids de 50:50 à condition que les huit sièges soient occupés. Les sièges avant et le volant ont reçu le traitement N, tandis que les deuxième et troisième rangées de sièges ont été enveloppées dans du daim et du cuir. Le volumineux espace de chargement de 842 litres offre suffisamment d'espace pour stocker les pneus si besoin.

Nous verrons plus de fourgonnettes de ce type ce week-end au Sydney Motorsport Park en Australie où l'iMax N Drift Bus sera engagé dans le 'World Time Attack' Challenge dans trois disciplines différentes.

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Hyundai iMax N Drift Bus Is An Eight-Seat RWD Van With 402 HP

Hyundai iMax N ‘Drift Bus’ revealed: tyre-shredding eight-seater track special

18 October, 2019 – Hyundai Australia today announces a special one-off custom creation, inspired by the mischievous spirit of N and guaranteed to put a smile on any driver’s face... along with up to seven passengers. Introducing the iMax N ‘Drift Bus’.

Powerful, turbocharged engine? Check. Corner carving differential? Check. N Performance Blue paintwork? Check. Seating for eight drift-fiends? Of course.

Created by an underground skunkworks team at Hyundai Australia, the iMax N makes its global competition debut this weekend at the 2019 World Time Attack Challenge at Sydney Motor Sport Park.

Unlike previous one-off fast vans – such as the Ford Transit Supervan and Renault Espace F1 – the iMax N ‘Drift Bus’ maintains its eight-seater layout in the interest of maximising the fun factor for you and up to seven of your friends.

The inspiration for ‘Drift Bus’ came from Hyundai Germany, who posted an iMax N image as an April Fool’s prank earlier in the year.

In a social media poll asking Australian N fans which Hyundai model should get the N treatment next, the iMax people mover finished in second place, after the Tucson SUV. The Tucson would have been too easy.

The N philosophy of BPM not RPM – putting driving thrills and excitement ahead of ultimate performance – drove the Australian skunkworks team to create the ‘iMax N’ and build it to the highest possible technical standards.

A standard iMax was sent to N boot camp where it bulked up with more muscle. The regular 2.5-litre CRDi engine was instantly discarded and replaced by a monster 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine, pumping out over 300kW of power and 555Nm of torque - more than enough to turn rubber into smoke, even on a bus.

Breathing through a bi-modal exhaust ensures the ‘iMax N’ sounds as good as it looks.

The potent engine is paired to a Hyundai-developed eight-speed automatic gearbox that connects to a corner carving differential, helping to transfer the grunt to the rear wheels.

The suspension features electronically-controlled dampers, while the brakes have also been given an N performance upgrade. The 19” alloy wheels, borrowed from the i30 N, are wrapped in performance rubber – but don’t get too attached to them because the ‘Drift Bus’ has an appetite for tyres.

Optimising cornering performance and handling, the iMax N achieves perfect 50-50 weight distribution with eight people on-board, maximising the grin factor.

Inside, the iMax N looks the part, with an N steering wheel and N sports front seats, with the rear two bench seat rows also trimmed in matching suede and leather. If you’re going to go drifting with seven friends, you need to be perfectly comfortable and do it in style.

‘Drift Bus’ offers more practically than any sports sedan or performance SUV, with an 842 litre boot perfect for carrying spare tyres. You can also carry an entire pit crew if required*.

iMax N is not a production model, nor is it road legal, so any grin-inducing fun will be limited to the racetrack. But we trust our simple aim has been achieved: to demonstrate Hyundai Australia’s passion for N-gaging and exhilarating vehicles for drivers... and as many passengers as possible.

To show off its performance, iMax N ‘Drift Bus’ will compete in three different disciplines at this weekend’s World Time Attack Challenge:

1) Clubsprint Class: for outright lap times and corner carving ability
2) Flying 500: for neck-snapping acceleration and drivetrain performance
3) Drifting Cup: for ultimate handling and tyre-burning proficiency

Bus Timetable
2019 World Time Attack Challenge

18 October, 2019: Sydney Motorsport Park

8:00am

Clubsprint: Session 1

9:30am

Clubsprint: Session 2

11:25am

Clubsprint: Session 3

12:05am

Flying 500

14:40pm

Clubsprint: Session 4

19 October, 2019: Sydney Motorsport Park

8:00am

Clubsprint: Session 5

9:30am

Clubsprint: Session 6

11:10am

Flying 500

13:45pm

Clubsprint: Session 7

17:40pm

International Drift Cup (South Circuit)

 

iMax N ‘Drift Bus’ Specification Overview

Drivetrain & Suspension

  • 3.5L V6 twin-turbo with 300kW+ and 555Nm
  • 8 speed automatic gearbox
  • Rear wheel drive
  • Corner craving differential
  • Electronic controlled suspension
  • N performance brake package
  • Performance tyres
  • Bi-model exhaust
  • Sub 5 second 0-100km/h
  • 50-50 weight distribution (with 8 people on-board)

Exterior Features

  • 19” Alloy wheels (borrowed from i30 N)
  • Bespoke aero kit
    • Front splitter
    • Side skirts
    • Rear diffuser and bumper
    • Rear spoiler with brake light
  • N Performance Blue exterior paint

Interior Features

  • N Steering wheel
  • N Sport front seats with suede inserts and leather bolsters
  • Power front seats with 12-way adjustment
  • Rear seats (2 rows) in matching N suede and leather
  • Black headlining
  • Boot space: 842 litre boot (VDA)

*Pit crew not included as standard equipment with this vehicle.