It will be Hyundai's first true performance car.
Hyundai has been hatching its first high-performance 'N' model for quite some time and, after extensive tests first at the Nürburgring, before moving to Sweden for the winter, the i30 N is now in Britain being evaluated on the country’s 'roughest roads' (any guesses as to which ones they are?). Although the car itself remains under cover, we're still able to spy a few clues about the new i30 hot hatch.
For starters, the redline appears to be at a fizzy-sounding 6,750 rpm, and at one point we spy the i30 N's selectable steering modes. We also get a quick look at the gearlever for the six-speed manual transmission, which later in the model’s life cycle will be joined by a dual-clutch automatic. Another important feature that might arrive later on is an all-wheel-drive layout, but Hyundai apparently hasn’t made up its mind about that yet.
Set to debut in the second half of 2017, the i30 N will be powered exclusively by a new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine. In standard guise, the four-cylinder unit will churn 250 hp with a range-topper offering 275 hp. The hotter one will have more than just an extra 25 horses under the bonnet; it will also feature several other performance goodies including an electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip differential.
Details about how long it will take to reach 62 mph remain unknown, but Hyundai has revealed the hot hatch is going to hit 155 mph.
Ahead of its full debut likely scheduled for the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Hyundai will preview the i30 N at the end of May during the Nürburgring 24-hour endurance race with two “close to production” cars.
It should be noted this won’t be the first N-branded car: back in August 2015 the i20 N Sport was launched, although that only had a few minor improvements. The i30 N, on the other hand, has been developed from the ground up as a performance model. Make this the first genuine N-branded car, then...
Gallery: 2018 Hyundai i30 N screenshots from teaser video
FINE-TUNING THE PROTOTYPE – HYUNDAI i30 N TESTED ON THE ROUGHEST ROADS IN THE UK
- Following the extreme weather testing in Sweden with Thierry Neuville, the Hyundai i30 N prototype gets tested on the most challenging roads in the UK
- When developing the i30 N, Hyundai Motor’s engineers focus on creating the maximum driving fun and responsiveness in everyday life, as well as on the track
- Two modified i30 N vehicles will enter the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at the Nürburgring end of May
May 15, 2017 – The Hyundai i30 N is continuing its intensive development through numerous tests by Hyundai engineers. Following the recent winter test in Sweden with Thierry Neuville, World Rally Championship driver of Hyundai Motorsport, the i30 N has now completed its testing programme on the most challenging roads in the UK.
With the i30 N, Hyundai Motor will launch its first high performance model carrying the ‘N’ logo. Based on the New Generation Hyundai i30, the i30 N is developed from the ground up to deliver maximum fun to drive on the road and on the track. The ‘N’ stands for Namyang, Hyundai Motor’s global R&D Centre, and for the Nürburgring, one of the most demanding race tracks in the world and home to Hyundai Motor’s European Test Centre. The ‘N’ logo resembles a chicane, representing the ultimate driving experience on winding roads.
In the UK, the i30 N prototype was tested on public roads by Hyundai Motor’s engineers to fine-tune and check the current status of development, focusing on the car’s adaptive suspension and different drive modes.
“We are getting closer and closer to the final development stage of the i30 N,” said Albert Biermann, Executive Vice President and Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development at Hyundai Motor Company. “The road testing serves to check if the driving performance of our first Hyundai N high performance car can meet our future customers’ requirements. We have to make sure that on these challenging UK roads the driving performance is also well suited to everyday use. There are plenty of fun and challenging corners out here – the N Team loves corners!”
At the end of May, two close-to-production i30 N vehicles will enter the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. Both cars will be competing with a 2.0-litre turbo engine and six-speed manual transmission – the same powertrain and transmission set-up that will be used in the production i30 N. The race will give Hyundai Motor’s engineers more valuable insights about necessary refinements and potential performance enhancements for the i30 N ahead of its launch this summer.