Hyundai goes mental with drifting van

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Tuesday 22 October 2019

Hyundai Australia has gone more than a bit crazy and turned its iMax eight-seater family van into full-on drift machine.

The project, subbed the Hyundai iMax N Drift Bus, was revealed ahead of the 2019 World Time Attack Challenge. It features a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 making 300kW/555Nm, sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission and a tricky diff to the rear wheels for maximum tail-out fun. Hyundai says that loading the van with eight people (who presumably signed forms before boarding) gives the vehicle a perfect 50:50 weight distribution.

There is also electronically adjustable suspension to drop the van nice and low, an N braking system, bimodal exhaust, a special body kit and the same 19-inch alloy wheels from the Hyundai i30 N hot hatch.

The Drift Bus isn’t just a fun experiment either. It competed for outright lap times (Clubsprint Class), straight-line acceleration (Flying 500) and smoky drift action (Drifting Cup). Hyundai said it didn’t expect any wins, with the main goal getting a bit of attention for its N performance brand and have fun with a customised iMax.

In a social media poll asking Australian N fans which Hyundai model should get the N treatment next, the iMax people mover finished in second place, after the Tucson SUV. The Tucson would have been too easy, Hyundai said in a statement.

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