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Hyundai reveals i20 N. Image by Hyundai.

Hyundai reveals i20 N
Second product in the Hyundai N offensive shown winter testing in Sweden with WRC ace Neuville.
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What's all this about?

You're getting your first glimpse of one of the cars we're looking forward to more than anything else in the next few years - it's the Hyundai i20 N. This is the difficult follow-up album to the sensational first effort from the Koreans, the majestic i30 N and its equally brilliant Fastback offspring. Hyundai has released these few images of a heavily camouflaged i20 N, undergoing winter testing at Arjeplog in Sweden while in the hands of the company's Belgian WRC ace Thierry Neuville, ahead of the vehicle launching either later this year or - because of the accursed Covid nonsense - perhaps in 2021.

Ooh, have we got any technical details?

Um, not as such, no. This is simply Hyundai showing the outline of the i20 N for the first time, as well as releasing two videos of some snowy tomfoolery up in the Arctic Circle. The first video has Neuville unloading the i20 WRC from a transporter and blasting through some dark, frosty Lappish scenery towards a frozen lake, whereupon he transfers into the RM19, a mid-engined test-bed car that is the latest in a line of RM prototypes, all of which will apparently herald a full halo N product sometime in 2021. Exciting. And then he has a go in the i20 N, clad in its swirly warpaint. In the second video, Neuville expands on his thoughts of driving all three, although it's his musings on the i20 N which are most pertinent here: "Very interesting car. Very precise. Very easy handling. The engine is revving nicely and the noise is very interesting as well. I'm looking forward to getting this one to drive in WRC!"

When can we expect more details on the i20 N?

Soon, we hope. The i30 N has been nothing but sublime, each and every time we've driven it (and that counts for whether it's a hatchback or the swoopier Fastback variant), so we have very great expectations for a hot hatch based on Hyundai's i20 supermini. Basing it on the B-segment challenger puts it up against some tough competition, which is a surprise because we were expecting a Kona N crossover to be the next hot Hyundai out of the blocks, but the i20 N has to beat the long-established likes of the Volkswagen Polo GTI - and it also faces the Herculean task of attempting to eclipse the magnificent Ford Fiesta ST. However, the i30 N has shown that Hyundai can upset the apple cart when it comes to dethroning talented competitors, so we cannot wait to try the i20 N out for size. Especially as Hyundai is happy to say that while the car will obviously be road legal, it will also be 'racetrack capable'. Much. Excite.

Matt Robinson - 6 May 2020

2020 Hyundai i20 N Revealed Winter Testing. Image by Hyundai.2020 Hyundai i20 N Revealed Winter Testing. Image by Hyundai.      - Hyundai road tests
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