The Hyundai i30 N, the firm’s new hot hatch that’s set to take on the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST, will cost from just £24,995 when sales begin in January 2018.
The headline-grabbing price of the 250hp i30 N undercuts the less powerful Volkswagen Golf GTI 230 by a whopping £3,980, and is also cheaper than the Ford Focus ST-2.
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Also impressive value is the more powerful 275hp i30 N Performance. This costs £27,995, £2,340 less than the Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance – a car with a full 30hp less than the potent 2.0-litre turbo Hyundai.
This means the top-spec i30 N Performance costs less than the basic five-door Golf GTI.
The first high-performance Hyundai ‘N’ – it stands for both Namyang, Hyundai’s global R&D base in South Korea, and Nürburgring, where ex-BMW M boss Albert Biermann oversaw the car’s development (although it’s also been tested in Britain) – both models come with a big haul of N-specific kit.
The i30 N has 18-inch alloys with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, electronic adaptive suspension, 17-inch ventilated front brakes (and 16’s at the rear), an electronic torque vectoring system and Drive Mode Buttons on the steering wheel that allow drivers to tweak the settings.
The i30 N Performance adds 19-inch alloys with Pirelli P Zero tyres, an electronic limited slip differential, 18-inch ventilated front brakes (and 17’s at the rear), leather and suede sports seats and an Active Variable Exhaust System that ‘crackles and pops’ in N or Custom drive modes.
Both models get standard Launch Control, a Rev Match Function that gives race-style ‘heel and toe’ downshifts, and Brake Control knock-back which nudges the brake pads back close to the discs following high-G cornering. Sat nav, turbo boost and G-force gauges, lap timer, an acceleration timer and an LCD instrument cluster are fitted as well.
We also love the BMW M-style rev counter rev limit light, which gradually rises as the engine temperature increases: it’s there to stop drivers thrashing and damaging cold engines.
As for colours, pick from six: the N-specific Performance Blue colour, plus Clean Slate, Polar White, Micron Grey, Phantom Black and Engine Red.
Hyundai i30 N: performance and economy
Both Hyundai i30 N models share a new 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine, and both are limited to 155mph. The i30 N can do 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds, with the i30 N Performance upping this to 6.1 seconds.
Peak power in both is delivered at a revvy 6,000rpm, and they both share the same torque figure of 260lb ft spread flat between 1,500-4,700rpm.
Hyundai doesn’t yet have fuel economy of the basic i30 N, but is able to confirm the i30 N Performance averages 39.8mpg and emits 163g/km. As the slightly less potent car is also lighter – from 1,400kg instead of 1,429kg – we’d expect this one to top 40mpg.
You can, however, narrow the weight gain with the i30 N Performance by choosing no-cost-option cloth seats, instead of the standard leather and suede chairs. They cut kerbwieght by 12.7kg.
Hyundai i30 N: chassis and handling
So will the Hyundai i30 N do the business through the corners? The firm has certainly given it a high specification to ensure it has a fighting chance. The body itself has been modified, with engineers welding in a rear stiffness bar across the lower rear wheelarches.
Componentry itself has been upgraded: the front suspension struts have been reinforced, as has the subframe, and there’s also a new supporting bracket for the central tunnel.
Including electronically controlled suspension as standard is also a significant boost: Volkswagen, for example, charges £830 for Dynamic Chassis Control on the Golf GTI.
Hyundai i30 N: in pictures