The N Performance sub-brand is finally revealing its first-ever product, the Hyundai i30 N, also the company’s first jab at the hotly contested hot performance hatchback segment.
Naturally the source of inspiration has been the latest generation of the i30 compact, with the N arriving as a way to represent competition for the likes of Volkswagen Golf GTI, Peugeot 308 GTi, and the Ford Focus ST. The brand is looking to attract more customers by presenting not one, but two versions of the i30N, the base flavor being the direct competitor for the aforementioned models with 247 hp from its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, ready to blaze through the 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) sprint in 6.4 seconds. If that’s not enough you can go one level above – the 271 hp version arrives in the form of the Performance Pack. The sprint to 62 mph is a tad faster at 6.2 seconds with launch control – and both versions have 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque and will top out at the maximum speed of 155 mph (250 kph).
With a testing center positioned on the sideline of the Nürburgring track, we can imagine why Hyundai spent 10,000 km (6,213 miles) of testing at the famous course, giving plenty of insight to its engineers when it comes to its dynamic stance. Other features include an electronic differential, six-speed manual transmission with rev matching and five electable drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and N to specify different settings for the dampers, steering weight, and throttle responsiveness, while the N Custom is exactly what it sounds. The i30 N is also lighter than its regular counterpart and has been fitted with new variable valve exhaust, complete with WRC-inspired pops and bangs at the tip of a button. The design, complete with WRC derived Performance Blue paint, is certainly on the serious side – but it still features a lower ride and custom bodywork, complete with trunk-mounted spoiler and body-hugging seats inside.