A Korean alternative to the hot hatch establishment, perhaps?
If you wanted a decently-sized, decently-practical, but blisteringly-fast family hatch, your options used to be pretty limited. You’d get a Volkswagen Golf GTi, or a Ford Focus ST, or maybe a Renault Megane RS if you were a little left field. However, while the world of hot-hatchery has long been dominated by European marques (and the sole American contender), Hyundai has decided that it wants a piece of that pie.
The i30N has been teased with a new video, showing off a pre-production car going through testing and evaluation on roads in the UK. Featuring Hyundai’s performance boss Albert Biermann, the i30N promises to offer the best blend of performance and comfort (or so he alludes). Though little technical (or indeed aesthetic) detail is revealed through the video, the rorty 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot is heard loud and clear, and should put out nearly 200kW. While a six-speed manual gearbox will be offered initially, an automatic transmission should join the lineup in 2018.
As part of its pre-production testing, two stripped-out almost-ready production-spec i30N’s will be competing in the Nürburgring 24 Hours event this month, which will allow engineers to continue tuning and refining the i30N before it makes its Frankfurt motor show debut in September. Speaking to Autocar on the N24 entrants, Biermann said: “We want our high-performance brand to have a considerable racing pedigree, so it’s important that we compete with minimal modifications. Nürburgring is where the i30N has undergone much of its testing and chassis development.”
Almost 200kW, a rorty exhaust note, and possibly a quick-thinking double-clutch gearbox. Paired with an unlimited-mileage 5-year warranty (like the rest of the Hyundai range down under), can you feel the current stranglehold the Golf GTi and Focus ST have loosen slightly?