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Hyundai i30 N: choose from 250- or 275hp. Image by Hyundai.

Hyundai i30 N: choose from 250- or 275hp
Launch Control, adjustable damping, an e-diff - the new Hyundai i30 N is a serious bit of kit.
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Newer articles featuring 2018 Hyundai i30

2018-12-21: Driven: Hyundai i30 Fastback
2018-03-09: Driven: Hyundai i30 N Performance
2018-08-06: Hyundai adds i30 N Line to range
2018-03-02: Driven: Hyundai i30 Fastback 1.4 T-GDi

What's all this about?

It's our first full look at Hyundai's Volkswagen Golf GTI challenger, the i30 N. And, from what we can see, things look very positive indeed.

In what way?

Well, let's start with the mechanicals. Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, you can have your i30 N in Standard Package (SP) or Performance Package (PP) guise. For the SP, expect 250hp, 353Nm, 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. The PP ramps that up a touch, delivering 275hp and the same peak torque (but holding onto it for 500rpm more than the SP) to tick off a 6.2-second 0-62mph sprint. The top speed remains pegged at 155mph.

How many wheels are driven on the i30 N?

Just the fronts, both versions of the hot Hyundai sending drive to the leading axle via a six-speed manual transmission. The gearbox has an ever-so-shorter final drive on the PP model, further aiding its accelerative powers.

And what's keeping all this on the road?

A full gamut of engineering tricks that should make the i30 N good at cornering, fast on the track and useable as an everyday sports car. Well, that's according to Hyundai, of course. But as the man who is behind Hyundai's N was once behind BMW's M (it's Albert Biermann, in case you're wondering), we're expecting big things from the i30. It comes on 18-inch alloys in SP guise, with 19s an option for that car and standard fit on the mightier PP variant. Behind said wheels, which are shod in sticky Pirelli P-Zero rubber, are some big brakes and red, N-branded callipers, while the i30 N enjoys the benefits of an Electronic Limited Slip Differential (E-LSD). It also has Electronic Controlled Suspension (ECS), which is Hyundai's term for in-car adjustable damping, and the Korean company says it has worked hard on improving the steering, too. We're slightly less enamoured that an Electronic Sound Generator (ESG) is fitted in the cabin, to artificially augment the car's soundtrack, although a variable exhaust valve system sounds (if you'll forgive the pun) more promising.

Anything else on the technical side?

Yes, the i30 N has a Launch Control function and a switchable rev-matching facility, so it's genuinely sporting all the modern-day accoutrements a discerning hot hatch requires. Oh, and there are five driving modes to cycle through as well, which all adjust the throttle mapping, steering, engine noise, stability control and so on, according to which setting you're in.

Can we assess the visuals quickly?

Yes indeed. Wider wheelarches, chunkier bumpers, bigger air intakes, those aforementioned large alloys, a gloss-black roof spoiler, a big rear diffuser splitting twin-exit exhausts, red pin striping and plenty of N badging means you shouldn't mistake the i30 N for a 1.0-litre model too easily. And inside, there are sports seats, lots of blue detailing (it's Hyundai's motorsport colour), a shift-light indicator, more N motifs and a sexy steering wheel to help make this feel like a cut above its regular hatchback brethren. Safe to say, we think this looks like a potential little belter.

Matt Robinson - 13 Jul 2017

Earlier articles featuring 2018 Hyundai i30

2017-07-13: Hyundai gives i30 a Fastback

2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.

2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.2018 Hyundai i30 N. Image by Hyundai.    - Hyundai road tests
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