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Hyundai gives i30 N more attitude, power and safety

Hyundai updates i30 N with new styling, more power and more kit

25 Sep 2020

HYUNDAI Motor Company (HMC) has unveiled and detailed the newest version of its i30 N hot hatch, with the hi-po five door being treated to an extensive facelift, new dual-clutch transmission, more standard kit and a significant power bump.


Due to arrive in Australia in the first half of next year, the biggest news surrounding the i30 N is the addition of its new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) which HMC says was designed to “provide the engaging experience of a manual transmission with the convenience of an automatic transmission”.


With gears able to be shifted fully automatically via the gear lever or the steering wheel-mounted paddles, the new transmission drastically broadens the i30 N’s appeal and puts it in pole position to steal sales away from rivals like the Ford Focus ST which was offered in both manual and automatic guises from launch.


The addition of the DCT also allowed HMC to debut a trio of new ‘N performance functions’ designed to extract the maximum performance and fun factor from the car.


N Grin Shift is essentially an on-demand overboost setting which can deliver 20 seconds of overboost – and therefore maximum power – with a countdown displayed on the instrument cluster.


N Power Shift meanwhile speeds up the gear shifts during hard acceleration to mitigate any torque dips during gear changes and keep progress as rapid as possible.


When in full automatic mode, N Track Sense Shift can detect optimum conditions for “dynamic driving” and as such, adjusts the transmission’s shift pattern and change characteristics to match.


As for the engine, the same hyperactive turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol mill has been carried over but been given a noticeable 4kW/39Nm bump in power, taking the i30 N’s peak outputs to a Focus ST-scaring 206kW/392Nm.


While never lacking on kilowatts, the i30 N’s torque figure was starting to lag behind the rest of the current hot hatch field but the upgrade now sees the Hyundai leapfrog the VW GTI’s 380Nm to be right back in the mix.


Inevitably, the extra grunt has resulted in an increase in performance with the new model shaving 0.2s off its 0-100km/h sprint to now stop the clock in 5.9 seconds.


Conversely, bigger front brakes have been added as standard to help haul the car back up again, growing from 345mm in diameter to 360mm.


To match the extra firepower under the bonnet, HMC has given the i30 N an “enhanced exterior design focused on dynamic performance”.


“Every design feature around the car has been developed with focus on dynamic performance,” the brand said in a statement.


At the front, the grille has been redesigned to increase airflow into the engine bay while the LED headlights have been reshaped and brought into line with the rest of the facelifted i30 range.


The front bumper has also been given a workover with new aerodynamic fins added to the outer corners in a bid to improve aerodynamics and reduce turbulence in and around the wheelarches.


New LED tail-lights and a bigger roof spoiler headline the changes at the rear, however these changes have only been made to the hatchback – the niche Fastback N’s rear end goes unchanged.


Under the skin, HMC says it has retuned the i30 N’s suspension to be more compliant and dynamic, however it has not actually detailed what the changes are as yet.


New 19-inch forged alloy wheels on all Performance variants – the only version offered in Australia – not only help to up the visual ante but shave 14.4kg off the car’s unsprung mass, replacing the outgoing model’s cast alloy units.


Inside the cabin, it is largely a case of as you were with very few changes of note, the most notable of which being a bigger infotainment screen (10.25 inches), the addition of optional N Light seats, heated steering wheel and heated seat function (both optional).


One area that has been stepped up dramatically however is safety wtih an expansion of the Hyundai SmartSense suite, however most of the changes are only applicable to the hatchback while others depend on the transmission choice.


Forward collision-avoidance assist with vehicle and pedestrian detection along with lane following assist have been added to all variants while the hatch also picks up blind-spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance warning.


DCT-equipped hatchbacks meanwhile also come with blind-spot collision-avoidance assist and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist.


“Since its market debut in 2017, the Hyundai N original high-performance car has received multiple outstanding reviews and awards,” HMC head of product division Thomas Schemera said.


“Drivers seeking maximum fun-to-drive on the road as well as on the track, now receive an even wider range of performance and design features, with the new Hyundai i30 N.”


“Especially the new design, new wheels, N Light Seats and the new wet-type eight-speed dual clutch transmission, make the Hyundai N experience sportier and more convenient than ever before.”


For those drivers keen to take their abilities to the next level, the new model comes with a ‘Performance Driving Data System’ HMC says is designed to monitor and improve track driving by storing key vehicle data.


“The new i30 N will arrive locally in the first half of 2021, with Australian model line-up and pricing details announced closer to launch,” a Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) spokesperson said.


HMCA has sold 13,474 new i30s so far this year ending August, accounting for 18.8 per cent of the sub-$40,000 small car segment, making it the second best-selling model behind the Toyota Corolla (17,187/24%).

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