The Hyundai i30 N is the brand's first attempt at a performance hatchback, but they have come out fighting. Based upon the i30, the N is to offer hot hatch performance to rival the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Peugeot 308 GTi, and Ford Focus ST.
There are two distinct flavours of i30 N. The entry level car, producing 247bhp from its turbocharged 2.0 litre engine, will do 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds. If that isn’t quite enough for you, speccing the Performance Pack gets you 271bhp from the same engine. The dash to 62mph then shrinks to 6.2 seconds with launch control engaged. Both cars churn out 260lb ft of torque and will reach a top speed of 155mph.
Hyundai says that over 10,000km of testing at the Nurburgring has allowed engineers to design the i30 N with track punishment in mind. An electronic differential aims to prevent the car from running wide, whilst its 6 speed manual transmission features rev matching to ensure the perfect shifts. Five selectable drive modes change the car's temperament. Eco, Normal, Sport, and N mode alters the dampers, steering weight, and throttle responsiveness. N Custom allows you to tailor the i30 N to how you like it.
Other things of note include a lower ride hight than the regular i30 and a new variable valve exhaust. The exhaust can be made to sound more aggressive at the push of a button and promises WRC inspired pops and bangs.
Wearing its unique WRC derived Performance Blue paint, it doesn’t look as attention seeking as a Honda Civic Type R. That said, its lower ride hight and detailed bodywork make it look purposeful. A prominent boot mounted spoiler reduces lift while large vents improve cooling.
Inside you get front bolstered sports seats along with a chunky steering wheel. The Hyundai i30 N is still practical though with three decent seats in the back and a big boot. There's a 5-inch touchscreen display as standard, though you can option it to 8-inches.
No pricing has been announced, though expect it to undercut the VW Golf GTI. The Hyundai i30N will be on the road later this year.