Hyundai, Kia and Genesis to add European style models

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G70ShootingBrake 16

The move could also mean more cars from Hyundai’s N performance division.

More Genesis, Hyundai and Kia models will be developed in Europe, according to Tyrone Johnson, Europe R&D boss for the three brands.

“We’ve been so successful [in our European operation] that we’ve been given more to develop on our own,” he said.

Ultimately, the move means more bespoke models for Europe, but also the team leading development of some global models, such as those under the Hyundai N performance sub-brand.

KONA N Entry Model 20

Last year alone, Johnson’s team had 30 projects on the go, including the Hyundai Kona N, Hyundai i20 N and Hyundai Elantra N, the last of which was developed in Europe and came to Australia as the i30 Sedan N.

Since taking on the role in 2018, Johnson has consolidated a number of European test sites. Now, the main facility is the former Opel test track at Dudenhofen, Germany.

The Hyundai group is also planning to double the size of its site at the Nürburgring, Johnson confirmed. He said the ‘Ring is used for extensive durability testing, with each vehicle driving 16,000km on the circuit.

As proof of the support the European office is getting, Genesis launched its G70 Shooting Brake last year –  a car created specifically for the European market and also sold in Australia. It’s been so well received, said Genesis Europe boss Dominique Boesch, that its home market in Korea is now considering selling the car, too.

Rachel Burgess

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