Hyundai high and low
After evo drove a prototype Hyundai i30 N a few months ago (issue 236) and detailed Albert Biermann’s driver-led approach to the car’s development, I was intrigued and excited. So when the latest issue of evo (239) arrived, I eschewed the Ferraris and other exotic gubbins and headed straight for the reveal of the Hyundai’s final specs.
It was something of a roller-coaster. Why? Page 16: ‘…there’s also a revmatching system for downshifts.’ Really? Let me be clear: rev-matching is, with the possible exception of automatic windscreen wipers, the most egregious trend to ever worm its filthy way into the firmament of automotive technology.
Then, joy of joys: ‘Down by the gearlever is a button to turn off the rev-matching function.’ I applaud Hyundai for this. One of the great joys of driving my old Boxster is judging revs on downshifts for myself. It is a low-speed, mechanical interaction that provides tremendous tactile satisfaction in what is actually quite a slow, but deliriously analogue, car.
Certain trends are created by marketing people; rev-matching appears to be one of these. But maybe someone somewhere, possibly called Albert, understands that some of us crave more mechanical interaction with our cars – and maybe those of us who do could do worse than set aside our prejudices and give the new i30 N a thorough appraisal before selecting our next hot hatch. Ben Jackson