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Drifting Hyundai Van Isn’t Your Typical People Carrier

When talking about Hyundai, it’s hard to associate the South Korean automaker with sportiness. Only the i30 N and Veloster N can be described as such, and as opposed to other hot hatchbacks, Albert Biermann and company decided on catering to drivers instead of those interested in numbers.
Hyundai iMax N Drift Bus 10 photos
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Over in Australia, Hyundai and the N performance division took things to the extreme with the iMax N Drift Bus. An eight-seat van with rear-wheel drive, electronically-controlled dampers, 19-inch alloy wheels, and 50:50 weight distribution with eight people on board, the one-off build also happens to be more practical than a sports sedan or performance utility vehicle.

How does 842 liters of space sound to you, more so if you remember the iMax N Drift Bus burns through tires like a hippopotamus charges through water? Impressive as it may be, the Aussie madness doesn’t stop here. Instead of the 2.5-liter CRDi four-cylinder turbo diesel, Hyundai decided to swap the engine for a 3.5-liter V6 with a pair of turbochargers. “Over 300 kW and 555 Nm” are the numbers quoted, translating to 402 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.

Based on the displacement, we believe we’re dealing with a modified Lambda II MPi G6DC under the hood. Naturally aspirated from the factory, this engine can be found in vehicles such as the Santa Fe mid-sized crossover. The Lambda II T-GDi, meanwhile, displaces 3.3 liters and it’s available in cars such as the Genesis G70, G80, G90, and the Kia Stinger with a twin-turbo arrangement.

The bespoke aerodynamic kit, bi-modal exhaust system, N performance brake package, and corner-carving differential are complemented by the N steering wheel, sporty seats with suede inserts and leather bolstering, and black headlining. The transmission might come as a disappointment to those who know how to drift by kicking the clutch, namely an eight-speed DCT that will soon be offered as an option in the i30 N and Veloster N next year.

Even though there are no plans of getting the iMax N Drift Bus into series production, Hyundai of Australia will demonstrate their fruit of labor at the World Time Attack Challenge this weekend. There are three disciplines worth mentioning, as follows: Clubsprint Class (lap times), Flying 500 (acceleration times), and Drifting Cup (as the name implies).

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