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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I stated in Anyone attend a Hyundai N Performance Academy session?, I signed up for the first session of the Hyundai N Performance Academy at Laguna Seca today (May 7, 2022). I'm in the South Bay of Silicon Valley, so it's only like a 70 minute drive to Laguna Seca. I arrived around 8:20am and quite a few folks were already there.

Registration was still closed
Cloud Sky Car Vehicle Wheel


So I checked out the four cars on display at the time - a red Kona N, white Elantra N, Performance Blue Veloster N and the centerpiece Elantra N TCR:
Tire Car Wheel Vehicle Sky
Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Land vehicle
Vehicle registration plate Tire Sky Vehicle Car
Sky Cloud Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Car
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle
Vehicle Tire Car Wheel Hood
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle
Car Wheel Land vehicle Tire Vehicle


I'm personally not a fan of the front look of the Elantra N, but the EN TCR is sooooo much better! IMHO Hyundai should have brought the body paint into the lower front fascia of the EN like how it is on the TCR.

Registration opened up at 8:45am


They had a $15k sim setup running Forza


Session started at 9am


Standing from left to right:
Sean Jones - co-owner of Bryan Herta Autosport
Mason Filippi - driver, #77 TCR
Michael Lewis - driver #1 TCR
Ross Rosenberg - N Brand & Motorsport Marketing Manager

After an intro section to the Hyundai N brand philosophy and Hyundai's direct involvement in motorsport through Bryan Herta Autosport, they did the usual briefing before hitting the track and autocross. Attendees were split in half and then swapped places after the first hour.




The track was a lead/follow for two laps. Two lucky individuals go to go on a hot lap with Mason and Michael in the EN. All participants drove in 2022 VN DCTs. I've test driven the VN DCT before, but not on Laguna Seca - it's ridiculously planted on the track. So cool that our VNs are so capable out of the box!

The next session was autocross





Like the lead/follow, 2022 VN DCTs were in use



That occupied the next hour. After that, event folks just asked us to fill out a short survey and then got fed!


We were told we could hang out as long as we wanted as folks from the second wave came in.


I talked to Mason and Michael for a little bit - really nice guys and very humble.


Attendees also got some N swag!


Overall I was very impressed with this event and had a lot of fun! Everyone there running the event was so cordial and nice. In a post-COVID shutdown environment, it was very refreshing to see and experience. The fact that Hyundai didn't charge a dime to attend this event is just icing on the cake.

As I walked back to my VN to head home, I took a quick survey of the parked cars - I saw 3 VNs and one EN. One Elantra Sport, Genesis Coupe, and a Sonata. The rest were cars from other brands - WRX STi, modded BMW, etc. It's good to see the N brand spread to other auto enthusiasts and in my humble opinion, we're all the better for it!

HUGE thanks to Hyundai USA and Bryan Herta Autosport for hosting/running the N Performance Academy. If any of you get a chance to go, DO IT! (y)
 

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Chalk White 2020 Veloster N w/PP
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Awesome post. Thank you.
 
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I did this today too! It was amazing!!! Tons of fun and super professionally run. Nice to see a diverse group of people ranging in ages and experience, everyone was taken care of. Also everyone in my wave got lucky and was able to do the hot lap w/ the pros and it was the highlight 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 Being behind the wheel in the VN on Laguna Seca was thrilling too, def showed me what this baby can do!!
 

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I was in the Saturday 3:30 session. I thought it was an amazing experience and I am so glad I got to go out there. In my session I was the only N owner but it seemed like the 1:30 session had 3 or so VN owners. Interestingly I also so a black EN but it didn’t seem to be owned by a participant since it was there before the 1:30 session and didn’t leave immediately after the 3:30 session.

I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone that gets the chance. It was well organized and done.

I talked to the N director of marketing while I was there and it appears that the main purpose of the events is to bring brand credibility to non-Hyundai owners. I guess the thought is that if they can nail the N brand then why shouldn’t you trust the rest of the Hyundai brand?

I also asked a long held question I had: is the fact that Hyundai’s N brand the next letter after BMW’s M brand and a subtle quip at BMW since they poached Albert Bierman? Apparently the (unofficial) answer is that it is a happy coincidence, but people within the company noticed after the N branding was decided and do joke about Albert Bierman working down the alphabet. Haha

On a side note, does anyone that went remember their auto-cross times on the course they had put up?
 

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On a side note, does anyone that went remember their auto-cross times on the course they had put up?
Our (1:30-3:30) session's best across both red/white groups was 18.1, 18.15, 18.2. We had a 17.9 in the 2nd go, but nothing sub 18 in the 3rd one that counted.

I'm old - a GenXer - so for me the highlight was following Roberto Guerrero around. As a yoof watching Cart/Indy Car back in the 80s/90s, if you told me my adult self would one day be chasing Roberto around Laguna Seca in a Hyundai of all things, I'd have assumed I'd gotten a concussion :ROFLMAO:

 

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Our (1:30-3:30) session's best across both red/white groups was 18.1, 18.15, 18.2. We had a 17.9 in the 2nd go, but nothing sub 18 in the 3rd one that counted.

I'm old - a GenXer - so for me the highlight was following Roberto Guerrero around. As a yoof watching Cart/Indy Car back in the 80s/90s, if you told me my adult self would one day be chasing Roberto around Laguna Seca in a Hyundai of all things, I'd have assumed I'd gotten a concussion :ROFLMAO:

Our group had three in the range from 17.8 - 17.6. Track evolution maybe? Haha
 

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Our group had three in the range from 17.8 - 17.6. Track evolution maybe? Haha
Haha! Just better/more experienced :)
Based on the raised hands during the intro session, I don't think we had any autoX people or the like.
I'm no pro but have done some trackdays and was the one to do the 17.9 before choking (yes in a mean nothing win a t-shirt thing) and stopping way early on the 3rd go :LOL:

Would have been interesting if they had 2 ENs and 2 VNs and see if there'd have been any genuine dif there.
 

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Haha! Just better/more experienced :)
Based on the raised hands during the intro session, I don't think we had any autoX people or the like.
I'm no pro but have done some trackdays and was the one to do the 17.9 before choking (yes in a mean nothing win a t-shirt thing) and stopping way early on the 3rd go :LOL:

Would have been interesting if they had 2 ENs and 2 VNs and see if there'd have been any genuine dif there.
Haha. Yeah, it would have been interesting. I would think that the turbo of the EN plus the differences in the axles probably would help with the lower speeds, so it would be interesting to compare.
In terms of the shirt I had no idea that they were giving one away until we got to the end… haha. First time trying anything auto cross but I have put in a lot of time on the track with the VN so I feel like I did decently well
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Awesome post.
Curious, how did you guys get the invite? Or is there somewhere one can sign up?
I first mentioned about it in


I also provided the general link and password to folks here if they didn't get the email from Hyundai Marketing.
 

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I first mentioned about it in


I also provided the general link and password to folks here if they didn't get the email from Hyundai Marketing.
I see it now :) Missed it.
Thanks for the posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Man that is awesome! Happy for you! I tried to see if I could get out of working that weekend and fly out there for it, but it was already full. Unfortunately I have not had any luck finding a schedule of future events. I guess I will just keep my eyes open. Thanks for the pictures!
 

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Man that is awesome! Happy for you! I tried to see if I could get out of working that weekend and fly out there for it, but it was already full. Unfortunately I have not had any luck finding a schedule of future events. I guess I will just keep my eyes open. Thanks for the pictures!
They said that it was going to be a while before the next one probably. They are going to gauge the interest after having done this one too I think. Fingers crossed they get more performance academies across the country.
 

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They said that it was going to be a while before the next one probably. They are going to gauge the interest after having done this one too I think. Fingers crossed they get more performance academies across the country.
Hyundai is trying hard worldwide to push their N brand as a legitimate performance marque. I really hope they extend these out to other lesser known tracks around the US. I get that California has a huge population of car people, but car people are everywhere in the United States. Speaking of which, where can I find info on these? Googling yields no results, at least for the North American schedule.
 

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Hyundai is trying hard worldwide to push their N brand as a legitimate performance marque. I really hope they extend these out to other lesser known tracks around the US. I get that California has a huge population of car people, but car people are everywhere in the United States.
Yeah, it sounded like the future ones will be at different circuits.
Speaking of which, where can I find info on these? Googling yields no results, at least for the North American schedule.
I think you need to just be part of the marketing email list to be notified of future performance academy events?
 
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