SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. said Monday sales of its high-performance i30N hot hatch in Europe handily exceeded earlier expectations.
The South Korean carmaker that launched the i30N model in Europe last September said it sold a total of 1,741 through February. This is 150 percent above the sales target set by Hyundai Motor and reflects the positive response by European buyers.
The number is noteworthy since the market for performance cars is extremely competitive on the continent amid established leaders like Volkswagen's Golf GTI.
The i30N equipped with a 2.0-liter gasoline turbo engine was launched as part of efforts to enhance its brand image as a premium carmaker, Hyundai Motor said.
The high-performance variant of the regular i30 was developed for no other purpose than to deliver maximum driving fun to customers in an accessible package, the carmaker said.
In addition to the N-badge car, Hyundai said the i30 Fastback model went on sale in Europe in January, with the company expecting the 5-door "stylish and sophisticated" coupe will be a real game-changer as it is the first volume brand to enter the compact segment in Europe and Australia.
The Korean carmaker has completed the i30 lineup currently composed of the conventional i30 hatchback and the i30 wagon by adding the two models.
Separately, the company said it plans to launch the high-performance Veloster N hot hatch in the domestic market this summer and the United States later this year.
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