Hyundai Australia has proven that some car companies out there do still have a sense of humour by revealing a one-off creation that no one asked for, but we all wanted – an eight-seat iMax N people-mover built for drifting.
Although it started out as a simple April Fools’ joke by Hyundai Germany (dubbed the H-1 Travel N) in a few photoshopped images on Instagram of an iMax van given the full N treatment, a skunkworks team inside the company’s Australian arm saw fit to make this thing into a reality – even if it is a one-off build for track use only.
Right off the bat, the visual changes are significant. Finished in the N division’s signature Performance Blue colour, it nabs a custom front splitter with red pinstriping and a gloss black boot spoiler, along with wheels and a rear diffuser taken straight from the i30 N, both of which have been customised to fit with the wheels requiring five-lug hubs in place of the standard six-lug units of the iMax, and the diffuser requiring re-moulding at the ends.
- Read More: 2019 Hyundai i30 Fastback N Review
The look is one that certainly sends the point home perfectly – not only is it true to the joke concept drawings published by Hyundai Germany including subtle items like the N badging, but it looks like a true product of Hyundai’s N division.
On the inside the i30 N-inspired changes continue as well, with the steering wheel and front seats nabbed straight from the company’s renowned hot hatch, while the rear pews have been reupholstered to match – right down to the blue stitching and N logos embossed below the head restraints.
This exercise in pure excess is far more than just a visual reimagining, however, with the iMax receiving all the necessary mechanical changes to make it the affectionately-named ‘Drift Bus’ a true tyre-frying drift missile.
A 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine churning out 300kW and 550Nm replaces the standard 2.5-litre turbo diesel donk, with an eight-speed auto (like you’d find in the Genesis G70) backing it up.
The iMax’s standard rear-wheel drive remains, although it now has a welded differential to allow it to perform such big, smoky drifts like you can see in the company’s promotional video below.
Also worth noting is that it features four-pot front brakes from the i30 N as well, although the rear drum brakes do still remain.
While not road legal and not something slated for production any time soon, the iMax N has been entered for a few events at Sydney World Time Attack Challenge event happening this weekend, including the Time Attack Clubsprint alongside an i30 Fastback N, the Flying 500, and the International Drift Cup.
Above all else though, this really does prove that car companies can still have a sense of humour – even the Germans, since the original idea was theirs! But, of course, it always requires a little Aussie ingenuity to pull something this hysterically brilliant off.