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Future models - Hyundai - i30 - N

First Hyundai i30 N details emerge

N-ticipation: Hyundai’s gen-three i30 range will touch down in Australia in April this year, but a sharp N version will follow with true hot-hatch performance.

Hot Hyundai i30 N to get up to 202kW and six-speed manual from launch

Hyundai logo15 Feb 2017

By DANIEL GARDNER

THE first juicy specs of the car that will kick-start Hyundai’s brand-bolstering N-range have started to emerge, with the eagerly anticipated i30 N confirmed to pack a punch of up to 202kW in addition to a host of Volkswagen Golf GTI-worrying performance kit.

Until now, very little has been made public about the critical first N-branded Hyundai, but it is now known that the i30 N will bring a raft of performance car features that will put the new model in firm contention with established and strong hot-hatch rivals.

While the South Korean manufacturer has previously offered a glimpse into the hot i30’s powertrain, confirming that it will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, a power figure of 184kW is now known to be the standard offering.

For those customers wanting to definitively kick Volkswagen’s Golf GTI into touch among others, the Hyundai will be offered with a Performance Pack that takes the entry-level power up to 202kW, although exact details regarding how the extra grunt is liberated, as well as pricing, are yet to be laid out.

While the venerable Golf GTI is an obvious power player in the segment that is often sited as the king of the affordable but capable hot-hatch segment, Hyundai says it also benchmarked the Ford Focus ST as a model to keep firmly in the i30 N rifle sights.

A dual-clutch automatic transmission was previously thought to be the gearbox that would accompany the vehicle’s launch but GoAuto can confirm that an eight-speed DCT will arrive at a later point in 2019, leaving a six-speed manual to pave the way from launch in December this year.

Given the weight and influence of the Hyundai brand in Australia, a local launch is expected soon after the i30 N rolls out globally.

Power makes its way to the road via the front 19-inch wheels which are shod in Pirelli P Zero rubber, while an electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip differential allows torque to be distributed to the wheel with most traction for improved road-holding and handling.

Under the i30 N’s more conspicuous body, Hyundai has slipped a modified chassis to cope with the extra potency, including a special version of the company’s electric power-assisted steering system dubbed R-MDPS.

To boost the hottest i30’s street racer credibility, an active exhaust valve will allow a more placid note during restrained driving, but a louder and more enthusiast-pleasing bark when pushed.

In addition to the mechanical and tactile performance modifications the i30 N has a tweaked body to reflect its fast-road fettling, including a “sporty and aggressive” front bumper, which is reflected along each flank with a pair of bulked-out side skirts.

At the back end the N-mods are completed with a lower diffuser which provides better airflow, reduced drag and a race-car influenced look.

Step inside the first Hyundai N-branded car and customers are greeted by more variant-specific extras from the sports seats that feature larger side bolsters for more cornering support and unique stitching to match a number of optional interior styling themes.

A fat sports steering wheel is also standard trim in the i30 N, which houses more contrasting stitching and a pair of switches under each horizontal spoke – one for selecting the desired drive mode and the other for lighting the i30’s touch-paper with a special N-mode.

Drivers are treated to another N feature with a bespoke instrument cluster that offers a gear-shift timing indicator and a variable rev-counter redline which moves according to the engine temperature and driving mode.

At a media event in South Korea this week a Hyundai spokesperson said that the company had learned a lot from its world rally championship endeavours while naming a number of rival target models.

“We take inspiration from our world rally car and that’s where we learned a lot of technologies to build a high-performance car,” they said.

“Key competitors were Ford Focus ST and Golf GTI so we wanted to be better than them.” Australian specification, timing and pricing are yet to be confirmed.

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