Future Models - Hyundai 2017 i30
Hyundai i30 N driven to extremes
Hot Hyundai i30 N hatch gets ice and heat torture ahead of Q4 launch in Australia
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16 March 2017
HYUNDAI has put its first ‘N’ high-performance model, the i30 N, to extremes in
testing in recent weeks, pushing it to the limits on an icy frozen lake in
Sweden and through the blazing heat of the Australian outback.
The i30 N is going through its final shake-down testing ahead of this year’s
global launch that includes Australia before Christmas.
In Sweden, Hyundai’s World Rally Championship (WRC) driver Thierry Neuville
drove a test mule on a frozen lake to try out its dynamic capabilities,
including the electronic stability control, limited-slip differential,
steering, shock absorbers, suspension and tyres.
“The engineers have done a great job on the gearbox and the differential,” Mr
“There is good traction and good stability in the slippery testing conditions.
And it’s very easy to handle. A normal driver should get a sensation similar to
that of a racing car.”
Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) public relations general manager Bill
Thomas said that a hot-weather development mule had been testing in Australia
in the last couple of months.
“We’ve had similar test cars in Australia recently, so we’ve had a hot weather
test car here,” he said.
“It’s actually just gone back to Korea, but we’ve had a hot weather test car
out here recently for a couple of months.”
Mr Thomas explained that the Australian car was here with a team of HMC
engineers to test the powertrain in hot conditions, but i30 N chassis
development would take place predominantly at Hyundai’s development facility at
“(Hyundai executive vice president for vehicle testing and high performance
development) Albert Biermann and the N Performance team said that they’re going
to be tuning the car in Germany and elsewhere in Europe exclusively,” he said.
“They’ve got a higher degree of control over this car than usual. However, a
really important aspect to that is we will be sending some engineers from
Australia to be involved in the chassis tune for the car.
“So we’re not sure on timing for that just yet, but it’s likely to be May/June,
and we will have input into the final tune which will happen in Europe.
“So on one hand the N guys are quite controlled in where they tune, but on the
other hand they’re inviting us as one of the key markets to contribute to that
While precise Australian timing is yet to be confirmed, Mr Thomas said he hoped
the i30 N would be ready to be launched at the 2017 WRC Rally Australia in
It will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder making at least
184kW, with an optional Performance Pack boosting that number to 202kW.
Initially be offered exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox, with an
eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission expected to arrive around 2019.
Mr Thomas was unable to confirm if a five-door fastback variant of the i30
would be coming to Australia, but he said it would replace the three-door hatch
that was sold briefly here before being discontinued.
“With PD (new-generation nomenclature) there isn’t a three-door hatch.
Previously we sold the three-door for a little while here is Australia, but
with PD there isn’t the three-door version of the car so the fastback
effectively replaces that,” he said.
“So you’ve got a wagon, a five-door hatch and a five-door fastback.”
Mr Thomas said the fastback had not been confirmed for Australia, but added
that more customer choice was “almost always better”.
He said the production location of the fastback would play into HMCA’s decision
whether or not to sell it.
“It’s always good to give customers choice, to give them the widest possible
choice of cars, but there are a lot of other factors involved with that
particular model,” he said.
“One of the most important things from our point of view is where the car will
be made, because that dictates what sort of exchange rate pressures it will be
“At the moment we’re not sure what the score is with where that fastback will
be made and where it will be made available, but certainly as ever we always
look at all the models that are released overseas and gauge their effectiveness
The Australian-bound i30 hatch, which arrives here next month, is built in
Hyundai’s native South Korea, while the not-for-Australia i30 wagon is built in
the Czech Republic.