The third-generation i30 is just around the corner, but we will have to wait until next year to see the range-topping N version. While the regular model aims to be a ‘car for everybody,’ the performance edition will try to grab sales away from the ever so popular Volkswagen Golf GTI. Hyundai’s first full-blown ‘N’ model has been caught on camera once again by our spies and it was riding on what seem to be at least 18-inch wheels.
Hyundai applied an extensive amount of camouflage on the i30 N prototype which was most likely carrying the production body. Already we can see the aggressive front end design with large vents while at the back there are two fat exhaust tips further denoting it’s not the regular model.
We already know what will power it, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. What we don’t know is exactly how much power it will deliver. Based on a video released by Hyundai earlier this year which showed the engine on a test bench, the mill produced 263.9 PS (260 hp / 194 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 308.9 Nm (228.09 lb-ft) of torque. While those are not the final numbers, expect the output to be in the same ballpark.
Interestingly, Hyundai has already announced there will be an optional track-oriented kit bringing more power, an updated gearbox, a beefier exhaust, larger brakes, and an electronically-adjustable limited-slip differential.
Albert Biermann, Hyundai’s Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development, has already promised the i30 N will be able to reach 155 mph (250 kph) and that initially only a six-speed manual gearbox will be available. Sometime in 2018, an automatic transmission will be added, and there also might be an all-wheel-drive version further down the line to take on the Golf R.
Look for a debut in March 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show, with sales likely to begin in the second half of the year. It's too soon to say how much it will cost, but with Biermann promising it will be 'affordable,' it probably means it's going to undercut the Golf GTI and Focus ST.