Vans are awesome—they haul stuff and take you on epic adventures along with seven other people (you like). But what if said van also gives you thrills? That’s exactly what Hyundai Australia added to a humble iMax (also known as Starex in other global markets) passenger van. However, it didn’t just give it a couple go fast bits and pieces, this iMax got the full N treatment. Say hello to the Hyundai iMax N Drift Bus, the eight-passenger, rear-drive machine that’ll happily go sideways.
Normally, the Hyundai iMax is powered by a 2.5-liter turbodiesel I-4. That wasn’t enough so Hyundai Australia ditched that in favor of a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 good for 300 kW and 550 nm of torque, that’s 402 hp and 409 lb-ft. The engine comes paired exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission developed in house by Hyundai. It also comes with a limited-slip differential and a dual-mode active exhaust system just like the i30 N and Veloster N.
Like other N models, the iMax N has electronically-controlled dampers, upgraded brakes, and 19-inch alloy wheels taken straight out of the i30 N with the performance package. Hyundai says that the i30 N gets 50/50 weight distribution with eight occupants. Inside, the iMax N gets a unique steering wheel, sport seats, second- and third-row bench seats, and leather and suede upholstery. It’s even sporting Hyundai N’s signature performance blue exterior color, a body kit, a triangle-shaped center rear brake light, and red stripes.
Unfortunately, the Hyundai iMax N won’t make it to production. Last year, Hyundai Australia created a one-off Santa Fe cabriolet, which was essentially a standard Santa Fe with its roof chopped off so a photographer can take a top down shot of the whole cabin.