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...