The idea of drift vans are nothing new. We've covered them in the past and there are several examples of them around. Still, it's still entertaining to watch them because these vans are doing something they aren't exactly meant to do. It's even more amusing when the automaker backs it up.
Stepping up to the plate is Hyundai with their special one-off iMax N, which you might know by the name of Starex. Yes, this family hauler got Hyundai's N performance division to work on it and make it what they call a 'drift bus'.
It's not just for show either, this van can actually pull skids. Hyundai went all out in this build from the ground up, and it's got an impressive list of mods. For starters, it's got much lowered suspension and it's electronically controlled. Standard front brakes have been swapped out for custom N Performance pieces with four-piston calipers. A more robust limited-slip differential has been added to prolong those skids.
In line with the N Performance theme, it's painted a distinct shade of blue, its wheels lifted straight from an i30 N, and comes with additional aerodynamic aids in the form of a front splitter, rear diffuser, and taller tailgate spoiler.
But its crowning piece is its engine. No, this Starex isn't powered by the 2.5-liter turbodiesel that's used in most markets. They've chucked that away in favor of a 3.5-liter V6 that's aided by two turbochargers. Hyundai says it's good for about 400 PS and 555 Nm of torque, which simply stomps on the standard turbo-diesel's 170 PS and 441 Nm figure. It then shifts via an eight-speed automatic transmission lifted straight from Hyundai's more upper range cars and crossovers.
What makes this van even more interesting is the fact that it's not a stripped out drift machine. It still has eight seats and all are trimmed in a leather and Alcantara combination. There's even N stitching on the seats just to make it a little more special inside. It even has its infotainment system in place. What you end up with is a practical, eight-seater van that happens to have a muscle car-baiting engine.
Sadly, this van will never reach production but it's nice to dream that Hyundai will come up with a road-going version of it. At least it will do some track action, as Hyundai entered the Drift Bus at the World Time Attack Challenge this year. Sure, it won't be the fastest, but we're certain it will be one of the cars that will stay in people's minds.