Apparently, Hyundai Australia has an “underground skunkworks team” – and that team decided to make good on an April Fool’s prank to produce this, the iMax N eight-seater “Drift Bus,” which will race in the World Time Attack Challenge this weekend.
Hyundai Germany, so the story goes, posted a doctored-up image of an iMax N for April Fool’s, the joke being that nobody in their right mind would apply the “N Performance” treatment to a stodgy old people mover. But Australian petrolheads have rarely claimed to be in their right minds. When Hyundai Australia put out a social media poll asking which model they should hot up next, enough larrikins voted for the iMax that it made second place on the list behind the Tuscon – which the team dismissed as “too easy.”
Thus was born the iMax N. Ditching the standard powertrain, the team shoehorned in a 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V6 making more than 300 kW (402 hp) and 555 Nm (409 lb-ft) of torque. Power is fed through an 8-speed auto transmission to the rear wheels, there’s a “corner carving differential,” electronically-controlled suspension damping, 19-inch alloy wheels, sticky rubber and a shouty “bimodal” exhaust.
The interior has been tarted up with sports seats at the front, an N series steering wheel, and matching suede/leather seat trims in the back. It achieves a 50-50 front-to-rear weight balance only when it’s carrying eight people on board, and Hyundai says it’s all about having fun with your mates, but just quietly, it looks to us like all the proper sideways action in the video below was done with the back seats empty to unweight the rear wheels. Just as well, they’d need barf bags back there.
The iMax N Drift Bus won’t ever make it to production, but it will compete in the World Time Attack Challenge this weekend at the Sydney Motorsport Park, in the Clubsprint, Flying 500 and International Drift Cup classes. It should be a laugh. But if you learn nothing else from this story, there is an “underground skunkworks division” at Hyundai Australia, and that alone should bring a grin to your face.
See the “Druft Bus” get sideways in the following video.
Source: Hyundai Australia