What began as an April Fool’s prank in Germany has become a smoky, tyre-shredding reality on other side of the world. The Aussies have turned the Hyundai i800 minibus (iMax Down Under) into a drift machine – and you can see just how spectacular a drift machine it makes in the video.
Video: The 400bhp Hyundai iMax N Drift Bus is what happens when crazy people get hold of a minibus
And this time it’s all for real, unlike Hyundai Germany’s April 1st photoshopped efforts to portray the eight-seat minibus as destroyer of the Nurburgring – the track that provides the letter N for all Hyundai’s sportiest offerings.
Impressed by the joke, and inspired by unlikely vehicles powered by huge engines of the past – most memorably the Ford Transit Supervan and the Renault Espace F1 – a Hyundai Australia skunkworks team took their European colleagues at their word and actually made the thing.
That required, ahem, a bit of work. Out went the diesel lump and in came a 3.5-litre twin turbo V6 with 400PS and 555Nm of torque. All of that power goes through an eight-speed automatic ‘box to the rear wheels only. But – as the video shows – there is a clever limited slip diff there working overtime to keep all that power from spinning away. The dampers are electronically controlled, the wheels, tyres and brakes all upgraded to N spec and there’s a bespoke aero kit fitted.
The result is that, while it still looks like a bus, it has 50:50 weight distribution and is capable of sub 5.0-second 0-62mph runs. It also delivers enough smoky sideways action to get through set after set of tyres – handy then that the Aussie i800N retains its eight seats and can take its own pit crew along with it, as well as spare tyres, for mid-lap wheel changes.
It’s not about to join Hyundai’s range any time soon. Nor is it road legal, but it most certainly is track ready, something Hyundai Australia was out to prove at the weekend in the 2019 World Time Attack Challenge at Sydney Motor Sport Park.
We hope they are up for bringing it over to Sussex for the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard next July…
Most popular from News
Join our motorsport community
Get closer to motorsport at Goodwood! Join the GRRC Fellowship to be first in the queue for event tickets, to attend the GRRC-only Members' Meeting and to enjoy year-round, exclusive benefits.