Hyundai launches the i30 N ‘Hot Hatch’
The i30 has been a solid performer, the next iteration, the i30 N, ready to hit Australia in early 2018, is the first real step in Hyundai shifting its brand from simply affordable, to affordable performance.
This has been a while in the making. Hyundai has been poaching from the ranks of BMW, AMG, Lamborghini and more, as part of achieving what hopefully the N series will start – a performance version of a daily drive. Of note, Albert Biermann, formerly from BMW heading their M division, is very much seen as the architect of the Hyundai N series – and it shows in the design changes.
So what is the i30 N?
The i30 N is not a completely new model, but it feels like it. It still looks like the popular i30 five-door-hatch, but it’s undergone a major overhaul to become what has been termed as a ‘hot hatch’. The internals have had a major upgrade, the 2-litre turbo has been amped up to 275HP, the Brembo brakes have been replaced with brakes from bigger and heavier models for more stopping power, electric controlled suspension, stiffer handling, electronic limited-slip differential, and more.
Externally the i30 N has been enhanced with a sports body kit, front splitter, front and rear bumpers, roof mounted rear spoiler, dual exhaust tips, and side skirts, lowered by 4-8mm, as well as smaller design changes. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a revamp to the interior, including an N sports steering wheel, sports seats, various N badging, all to go with an 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system.
Simply put, Hyundai took their reliable, popular i30 five-door-hatch, and beefed it up. With this upgrade Hyundai takes on the Honda Civic Type R, Ford Focus ST, Volkswagen Golf GTI, and the Peugeot 308 GTI. Based on it’s performance, reviewers are placing the i30 N as a very strong contender in the ‘hot hatch’ category.
Finally, let’s get down to how much, and when.
The i30N was set to land before the end of 2017, but it’s been delayed, the Australian launch has a proposed release date of March 2018. It comes in two varieties, standard and performance, but for most purposes reviewers have said that there isn’t a noticeable performance gap between the two.
There is no confirmed price point, but we expect below $40,000, most likely priced just under its competitors. We expect more information in the new year, and we can’t wait.
Finally, yes, it comes in more colours! There are six standard exterior colours that will be available at launch.
If you think the i30 N might be a bit to hot for your taste, or maybe you just can’t wait until it arrives, we highly recommend having a test drive in the 1.6 turbo i30 SR – it has leather appointed interior, independent rear suspension (which is unique to the SR), and comes in under $30,000 driveaway. It represents outstanding value for money and will be a hoon hoot to drive as well.