Hyundai announces Pirelli World Challenge race program in Chicago

Two i30 N racers to compete in new TCR class.

Jon Wong Former editor for CNET Cars
Jon Wong was a reviews editor for CNET Cars. He test drove and wrote about new cars and oversaw coverage of automotive accessories and garage gear. In his spare time, he enjoys track days, caring for his fleet of old Japanese cars and searching for the next one to add to his garage.
Jon Wong
2 min read

In hopes of raising the profile of its N performance brand, Hyundai will launch a Pirelli World Challenge race program for the 2018 season and compete in the new TCR class. The program was announced at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show and follows-up the debut of the Veloster N last month in Detroit.

With the Veloster being confirmed as the first street car to carry the N badge in the US, it's logical for you to think that a race-prepped version of the funky hatchback would be hitting the track, but you would be wrong. Instead, Hyundai will campaign a pair of i30 N TCR racers that are already being offered for sale to customer teams in Europe.

Enlarge Image

Hyundai is going racing with this 350-horsepower hatchback.


The i30 N TCR is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 350 horsepower. That is connected to a six-speed sequential transmission. All the typical race car hardware is here, too, including an adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes, full roll cage and a monster wing out back to keep the rear planted at high speeds when it's battling race-prepped cars like the Audi RS3 and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

To manage the race operation, Hyundai has teamed with Bryan Herta Autosport, which has previous experience running programs in IndyCar and Global Rallycross. For the World Challenge effort, drivers Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkens have been tabbed to pilot the i30s.

Hyundai i30 N TCR: Hyundai goes racing in the Pirelli World Challenge

See all photos

The 2018 Pirelli World Challenge TCR season kicks off next month at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. The six weekend season will feature doubleheader races at each event and wrap-up at Watkins Glen International Raceway at the beginning of September.

Watch this: Hyundai goes racing to show off its N performance brand