A few months ago, Hyundai presented Korea’s answer to the mighty Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Hyundai i30 N. Developed under Hyundai’s dedicated performance division – N (which stands for Namyang – Hyundai Motor’s global R&D Centre in Korea and Nürburgring), the sub brand’s first performance model has just gone on sale in the UK.
UK customers can choose between two variants – i30 N and i30 N Performance where the latter packs a higher engine output, dedicated aesthetic trims and an Active Variable Exhaust System. Under the hood, both variants are powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder T-GDI engines mated to six-speed manual transmissions. As standard, the blown motor develops 247 hp and 353 Nm of torque while the hotter i30 N Performance makes additional 25 hp.
With Launch Control activated, the i30 N will complete the century sprint in 6.4 seconds. Opt for the Performance variant and it will get you to the 100 km/h mark in 6.1 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h on both models.
Standard equipment on the Golf GTI rival is generous with LED head and taillamps, 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, Electronically Controlled Suspension, 17-inch ventilated brake discs (16-inch at the rear), N Torque Vectoring System, steering wheel mounted Drive Mode selector and more.
Stepping up to the i30 N Performance, it gets additional performance equipment such as 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in model-specific Pirelli P-Zero tyres, larger brake kit (18-inch front; 17-inch rear) and an Active Variable Exhaust System that generates playful pop and crackles from the exhaust.
Compared to the regular i30, the i30 N gets N specific functions such as drive mode display, suspension, engine and transmission set up, lap timer, acceleration timer and performance gauges including engine torque, turbo boost and G-force display. The instrument cluster has also been redesigned to display drive mode, vehicle control settings, shift timing lights and a variable LED tachometer.
In the UK, the i30 N and i30 N Performance retails for £24,995 and £27,995 (approx RM 141,463.64 and RM 158,442.67) respectively. Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) once introduced the i30 hatchback to the Malaysian market back in 2014 but the model has since been discontinued. Perhaps HSDM should revisit the idea of introducing this high-performance i30 N and give enthusiast an alternative to the Golf GTI and Renault Megane R.S. 265.