Hyundai I30 N 2018 Revealed
Hyundai I30 N 2018 Revealed

Hyundai I30 N 2018 Revealed


Hyundai has finally revealed its first-ever entrant in the hot hatch segment, with the i30 N set to be offered in two grades when it goes toe-to-toe with the venerable Volkswagen Golf GTI.

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Scheduled for an Australian launch in the fourth quarter, the debut model from the Korean carmaker’s N sub-brand will be available in 'Standard Package' and 'Performance Package' varieties.

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Both are propelled by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with drive sent exclusively to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox with rev-matching function.

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The standard i30 N outputs 184kW at 6000rpm and 353Nm from 1450-4000rpm, resulting in a 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.4 seconds thanks to its launch control feature.

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Alternatively, the flagship Performance Package dials the power up to 202kW at 6000rpm, whereas its peak torque figure does not change, but is spread across a wider band (1450-4700rpm).

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The extra 18kW helps the range-topping N variant to complete the triple-digit dash in 6.2s, while both versions of the spicy i30 share the same top speed of 250km/h.

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Comparatively, the ‘7.5’ update of the Golf GTI launches next month, packing a 169kW/350Nm punch, while a spicier 180kW/370Nm 'Performance Edition 1' version will be released alongside it.

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Purists may be let down by the i30 N’s electronic sound generator which pumps fake engine noise into the cabin, but will be elated by the Performance Package’s inclusion of a variable exhaust valve system that alters the volume of the hot Hyundai’s bark.

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Adaptive dampers and a Performance Package-only electronic limited-slip differential (E-LSD) complement the i30 N’s McPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension, ensuring sharp handling and a sporty ride.

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Five different driving modes – ‘Eco’, ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’, ‘N Mode’ and ‘N Custom’ – allow the driver to adjust engine, rev-matching, E-LSD, exhaust, suspension, steering and stability control settings.

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The standard model rolls on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 225/40 Michelin tyres, while the Performance Package has 19-inch rims shod in 235/35 Pirelli P-Zero rubber and larger disc brakes with red-painted callipers.

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Based on the five-door i30 hatch, the N sits 4mm lower as standard or 8mm closer to the ground in flagship form.

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Completing the i30 N’s exterior look is a sports bodykit comprised of a front splitter, side skirts, aggressive front and rear bumpers, gloss-black roof-mounted rear spoiler and dual exhaust tips.

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Inside, a blue-stitched N sports steering wheel, N badging, N-themed instrument cluster and sports seats with lumbar support – trimmed in either suede/leather or cloth – differentiate the hot hatch from the mainstream i30.

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Equipment also includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, satellite navigation with live traffic, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support and wireless smartphone charging.

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A suite of safety and driver assistance technologies extend to AEB, forward collision warning, driver fatigue alert, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, speed limit recognition and high beam assist.

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Depending on local specification, curb weight ranges from 1400-1480kg in the standard i30 N and 1429-1509kg for the Performance Package.

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Six exterior paint colours are on offer including ‘Clean Slate’, ‘Polar White’, ‘Micron Grey’, ‘Phantom Black’, ‘Engine Red’ and the hero ‘Performance Blue’.

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Pricing will be announced closer to the i30 N line-up’s local launch date, but expect the pair to be positioned below the manual Golf GTI ($41,490 before on-road costs) and its Performance Edition 1 derivative ($47,990) respectively.

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Hyundai has confirmed it is working on a fastback version of the i30 N, as well as an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission option, due in 2019.

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Will Hyundai make a dent in the hot hatch segment with its i30 N? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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