Hyundai has announced its very own performance driving school, dubbed the N Performance Academy, to help enthusiasts improve their driving techniques/skills and drop lap times. The South Korean brand joins the mix of other manufacturers who have done the same with their more enthusiastic models, such as Ford, Chevrolet, Lexus, Porsche, and BMW.
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The debut event took place this past weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, and featured instruction by a handful of pro drivers, including IMSA TCR drivers Mason Filippi and Harry Gottsacker, both of whom have raced for Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA), Hyundai’s factory entry in IMSA.
The schedule features an autocross session followed by full use of the legendary North Georgia track. According to BHA’s website, 200 reservations were made for the two-day event. As far as who was invited, it’s unclear exactly how that worked out. Was it offered only to N car owners? Was it open to anyone? Regardless, it’s quite cool that Hyundai’s offering it.
Why It Matters
Hyundai is doing big things with its line of N cars. This car company was synonymous with “cheap transportation” not too long ago. But today not only does it produce solid commuter cars; its N-trim sport compacts are downright excellent driving machines. And setting up a driving school would indicate that the company plans to keep playing in this space for a bit. The more cars on the road geared towards enthusiasts, especially ones that are genuinely excellent, the better.
Then, offering a program that enables people to gain skills in performance driving is immense for all things automotive enthusiasm. Not only does this make the participant a more skilled and safer driver, but it also inspires them to get out and sign up for track days and autocross events, which helps bolster these events’ car counts.
It’s also noteworthy that a non-luxury brand like Hyundai is doing this. Ford is also in the mix here, but Lexus’ Performance Driving School, as well as Porsche’s, and BMW’s are from premium brands. Being able to mob around in a $30,000-$35,000 sport compact for the sake of knowledge, skill, and fun is quite cool.
What To Look For Next
Hopefully, Hyundai continues to run this school at tracks all over the country, especially here on the West Coast. Hyundai has a European version, too, by the way. Taking this programming on the road helps boost N car sales and performance driving enthusiasm. The latter I find to be a very important part of automotive culture, especially for getting the youths stoked on cars. Plus, it’s in a safe and controlled environment and not on public roads. It’s win-win.
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