Hyundai high and low

Evo - - INBOX -

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

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