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Hyundai reveals hi-po i20 N

Hyundai expands N range with introduction of i20 N hatch, due here first half 2021

21 Oct 2020

HYUNDAI has finally revealed the next member of its high-performance N flagship range, with the i20 N light hatch set to touch down in Australian showrooms in the first half of 2021.


Joining the existing i30 N and i30 Fastback N, the i20 N will be the only i20 grade offered Down Under, and will lock horns with the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI.


Hyundai used its expertise in the World Rally Championship (WRC) when crafting the i20 N, and has enhanced its little pocket rocket in all aspects to make it as potent as possible.


From the outside, the performance bent of the i20 N is clear, starting with its 10mm-lower ride height and red accents running around the car’s front, rear and side skirts.


A lip spoiler and wide radiator grille add an element of visual menace, with the latter featuring a grille pattern inspired by a chequered flag.


18-inch alloys help give the i20 N a purposeful stance, while the rear of the vehicle is highlighted by a WRC-inspired roof spoiler.


LED lighting front and rear complete the exterior look, with the triangular tail-lights darkened to match the two-tone black roof.


Performance is the name of the game for the i20 N, with the little hatch set to be underpinned by a modified version of the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine found in a number of other Hyundai and Kia models, tuned to produce 150kW from 5500-6000rpm and 275Nm from 1750-4500rpm.


Its outputs place it closely in line with its rivals, the Focus ST (147kW/290Nm) and Polo GTI (147kW/320Nm), however the i20 N’s torque figure does come up slightly short.


The engine has seen a few tweaks including an exclusive turbo system, more power and torque at lower rpm, and high-pressure injection rail, allowing for greater engine response.


Mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission, the turbo four-pot drives the front wheels only, with customers able to fit a limited-slip differential to the front axle in order to aid handling and grip.


With Launch Control fitted as standard, the i20 N is able to rocket from standstill to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 230km/h.


Five drive modes are available – Normal, Eco, Sport, N and N Custom, with the latter allowing customers to individually adjust the parameters of the engine, ESC, exhaust and steering.


The ESC system can also be programmed into three stages – on, sport and fully off.


A major factor in the i20 N’s performance and dynamic ability comes down to its minimal kerb weight, checking in at 1190kg – the same as the i20 Coupe WRC car.


To aid handling the chassis has been reinforced at 12 different points, while the suspension features reinforced front domes and knuckles, new anti-roll bars, springs and shock absorbers and increased camber.


Stopping power comes courtesy of 40mm-larger hi-po brakes which feature increased fade resistance and a more consistent pedal feel.


Hyundai’s SmartSense suite of active safety tech is included, with forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot collision warning, intelligent speed limit assist, driver attention warning system, high beam assist, lane following assist and rear cross-traffic collision warning.


Other features to be offered on the i20 N include an N-specific 10.25-inch touchscreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, N driving data, dedicated sports seats, N steering wheel, black headliner, Performance Blue accents, digital instrument cluster, and an N gear knob and pedals.


Six exterior colour options are available (Performance Blue, Intense Blue, Polar White, Sleek Silver, Brass and Phantom Black), while the Tornado Red accents can be optioned.


Local pricing and specification is yet to be detailed by Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA), however the brand will have to target a low-$30,000 pricetag to remain competitive against its rivals.


The arrival of the i20 N will mark the return of the i20 nameplate to Australia, which was discontinued in 2015 after arriving Down Under in 2010.

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