More news on Hyundai’s first ever hot hatch, due this year
Thinking of taking the plunge on a new Focus ST or a Golf GTI?
That’s a good plan. You might want to hang on a minute, though. Hyundai is about to enter the hot hatch battleground with a rather interesting new i30.
The i30N certainly looks the part with its low-slung ride height, 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels and in-your-face bodywork in your choice of six exterior paint colours. Designed to deliver “maximum driving fun in an accessible high-performance package,” this is the first product to exit the gates of Hyundai’s new N performance car division. It’s their version of BMW’s M or Mercedes’ AMG divisions.
The entry-level 130N powerplant is a 247bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine driving the front wheels. The Performance package option takes that up to 271bhp, which is a fair bit more than the Golf GTI and only 4bhp down on the Focus ST. It’s claimed to beat the Golf on acceleration too, with a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds. The top speed is electronically pegged at 155mph.
There’s rev-matching for faster gearchanges through the six-speed manual gearbox, quicker steering, and a launch control function. Buttons on the N-badged steering wheel access five modes – Eco, Normal Sport, N and N Custom – to alter the engine note, throttle response, steering and other bits and bobs. The list of safety features on offer includes automatic emergency braking, a driver attention monitor and lane-keep assist.
Inside, normal analogue dials are replaced by an electronic display with LED shift light indicators. There’s also an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, a range of displays showing (among other things) engine outputs and lap times, and the option of a wireless mobile phone charging mat.
Due to go on sale by the end of 2017, the i30N is expected to cost around £27,000 to make it competitive with the £28,320 Golf GTI.