Here’s one for the fun police. Hyundai has unleashed a badass, tyre-shredding version of the eight-seat iMax people mover.

Inspiration for The iMax N ‘Drift Bus’ comes from Hyundai Germany, that posted an iMax N image as an April Fool’s prank earlier in the year.

In a social media poll asking Aussie N fans which Hyundai model should get the N treatment next, the iMax people mover finished in second place — after the Tucson SUV.

The Tucson would have been too easy, Hyundai says.

A standard iMax was transformed, with the standard 2.5-litre turbo diesel replaced by a monster 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine, pumping out more than 300kW of power and 555Nm of torque — more than enough mumbo to turn rubber into smoke.

Breathing through a bi-modal exhaust ensures the Drift Bus sounds as good as it looks too.

The potent engine is paired with a Hyundai-developed 8-speed auto that connects to a corner carving differential, helping to transfer grunt to the rear wheels.

The suspension features electronically-controlled dampers, while the brakes have also been given an N performance upgrade.

The 19 inch alloys, borrowed from the i30 N, are wrapped in performance rubber – but they don’t last long with the Drift Bus’ voracious appetite for tyres.

Optimising cornering performance and handling, the iMax N achieves perfect 50-50 weight distribution with eight people on-board, maximising the grin factor.

Inside, the Drift Bus looks the part, with an N steering wheel and N sports front seats, with the rear two bench seat rows also trimmed in matching suede and leather. If you’re going to go drifting with seven friends, you need to be perfectly comfortable and do it in style.

Sadly, the iMax N is not a production model, nor is it even road legal, so any future action will be confined to the racetrack.

Drivetrain and Suspension

  • 3.5L V6 twin-turbo with 300kW+ and 555Nm
  • 8 speed automatic gearbox
  • Rear wheel drive
  • Corner craving differential
  • Electronic controlled suspension
  • N performance brake package
  • Performance tyres
  • Bi-model exhaust
  • Sub 5 second 0-100km/h
  • 50-50 weight distribution (with 8 people on-board)

Exterior Features

  • 19 inch alloy wheels (borrowed from i30 N)
  • Bespoke aero kit
    • Front splitter
    • Side skirts
    • Rear diffuser and bumper
    • Rear spoiler with brake light
  • N Performance Blue exterior paint

Interior Features

  • N Steering wheel
  • N Sport front seats with suede inserts and leather bolsters
  • Power front seats with 12-way adjustment
  • Rear seats (2 rows) in matching N suede and leather
  • Black headlining
  • Boot space: 842 litre boot (VDA)

CHECKOUT: Hyundai i30 Fastback N: Power to the people

CHECKOUT: Hyundai Kona Iron Man: No water required

Badass bus does the heavy lifting and drifting


Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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