Korea’s take on the iconic hot hatch, now I know its been out for a while and this article seems a little late to the party but to be fair it has only just been announced its coming to SA. So has Hyundai brought a knife to a gunfight? well on paper it doesn’t look like it. Starting with the outside it definitely looks the part especially in the blue pictured above, I also like the fact that it’s not over the top with wings and vents like the current Civic Type R. Hyundai has definitely found the balance between sporty and everyday blending. Looks are subjective so I will leave it to you to decide.
Let us get into the nitty-gritty what this car is about, Performance, heart in mouth and smile on your face performance. Hyundai took this quite seriously indeed, but it all started in 2013 when Hyundai decided to compete in WRC which it re-entered in 2014 where they finished on the podium 4 times and came fourth in the championship. They have steadily improved there performance over the past few years ranking 2nd in 2016. Hyundai also opened its European testing centre at the Nurburgring where this I30N was developed and honed and enlisted the services of an ex BMW M engineer.
The Guts of it.
So how does it stack up to the competition?. Under the hood is a 2.0 GDTI turbocharged petrol engine with class average outputs of 184kw and 353nm of torque(378nm with over-boost), although with the optional performance pack this jumps to 202kw. This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual and if the optional performance pack is selected the power is put to the ground via the N Corner Carving Diff and 19″ wheels. Hyundai spent 10,000km on the Nurburgring perfecting and testing the durability of the car. They also wanted it to be usable every day hence the electronically controlled suspension and drive modes. Expect a 6.4 second 0-100kph sprint time and a top speed of 250kph.
Effectively there are 5 different drive modes available on the I30N three of which are the usual Eco, Normal and Sport, the 2 additional ones are N-Mode(Sport Plus) and N Custom. N Custom allows a custom configuration of the settings found in the other modes. Included in all these systems are what I call “Hero Aids” like the launch control which gets the car off the line as quickly as possible and the rev-match feature which auto-blips the throttle on downshifts.
Drivers point of view.
The I30N’s interior has been given a once over to match its sporting pretensions, Sporty bucket seats, sports steering wheel with N-mode buttons and aluminium racing pedals. There is a 5″ colour touch screen as standard with an 8″ screen optional, unique to the I30N is the N-mode screen which displays details of driving modes. It also displays things like power, torque, turbo boost as well as lap and acceleration timers. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are also included in the infotainment system. What I am not such a fan of is the electronic sound generator which pipes fake engine sounds into the cabin. There is an exhaust valve system included in the performance pack which should allow more than enough exhaust noise not to need the ESG.
If you think back 10 years ago could you have imagined Hyundai developing something like this?, I Couldn’t. I think they have managed to fill the gap between the Civic Type R’s sportiness and the Golf GTI’s everyday user-friendliness. At this point, only about 50 unit will be sent to SA so chat to your local Hyundai dealer quickly if you want one. Local pricing has also yet to be confirmed.