Hyundai’s rally-in­spired i30 N re­vealed

Auto Express - - Con­tents - James Brodie James_brodie@den­ @jim­my­brods

FOL­LOW­ING our brief stint be­hind the wheel of a pro­to­type ver­sion ear­lier this year and count­less teaser im­ages, Hyundai has fi­nally re­vealed the new i30 N. It’s the Korean man­u­fac­turer’s first at­tempt at a fully fledged hot hatch and fires the start­ing gun on a range of new N-badged high-per­for­mance mod­els from Hyundai.

Hyundai touted the idea of a hot hatch at last year’s Paris Mo­tor Show with the RN30 Con­cept, while the com­pany’s in­volve­ment in the World Rally Cham­pi­onship since 2014 has de­liv­ered the im­pe­tus to de­velop new per­for­mance mod­els.

Al­bert Bier­mann, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of Hyundai’s high-per­for­mance ve­hi­cle di­vi­sion, told us that the man­u­fac­turer is aim­ing to de­liver “an ac­ces­si­ble high­per­for­mance pack­age”, hint­ing that it could un­der­cut key ri­vals on price.

Un­der the bon­net sits a 247bhp 2.0-litre tur­bocharged four-cylin­der en­gine pro­duc­ing 353Nm of torque. It means that Hyundai’s new en­trant on to the hot hatch scene out­guns the 242bhp Golf GTI Per­for­mance Pack on sheer power. But the i30 N is also avail­able with an op­tional per­for­mance pack, which turns the wick up fur­ther to 271bhp.

Power is de­liv­ered to the front wheels via a six-speed man­ual gear­box; the stan­dard i30 N cracks 0-62mph in a claimed 6.4 sec­onds be­fore hit­ting 155mph. Adding the per­for­mance pack cuts the sprint time by 0.3 sec­onds to 6.1 sec­onds, although the speed is elec­tron­i­cally lim­ited to 155mph.

The i30 N has per­for­mance parts that are typ­i­cal of the lat­est hot hatches: launch con­trol and a rev-match­ing func­tion both fea­ture, plus five se­lectable driv­ing modes and elec­tron­i­cally man­aged sus­pen­sion. An ‘N but­ton’ coaxes the car into its most dy­namic set-up, but drivers can tai­lor set­tings through an N Cus­tom mode. Those opt­ing for the Per­for­mance Pack­age get an elec­tronic lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial, larger brakes, a vari­able valve ex­haust sys­tem and larger 19-inch wheels.

The dash­board and switchgear found in reg­u­lar ver­sions of the i30 are given some sporty new ad­di­tions. A sports steer­ing wheel with ex­tra driv­ing mode but­tons fea­tures, along­side new sports seats.

A five-inch touch­screen with Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto is in­cluded as stan­dard – the larger eight-inch dis­play with built-in satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion is kept on the op­tions list, but it fea­tures a new and ex­clu­sive N menu which dis­plays power us­age, turbo boost, plus a lap-tim­ing func­tion. Safety and as­sis­tance tech is lifted from the reg­u­lar car, and au­tonomous emer­gency brak­ing, lane-keep as­sist and a driver-mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem make the cut.

It’s ex­pected that both the 247bhp and 271bhp ver­sions will go on sale in the UK. Prices for the en­try-level model are likely to start around £28,000.

247bhp in stan­dard model 155mph top speed claimed

A pur­pose­ful bodykit and twin ex­haust tailpipes mark out Hyundai’s first hot hatch

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