Late last year when Hyundai released details on this car I didn’t give it much thought or consideration, not because it is a bad car but just because of the way the world has been. This car has made me realise how far this Korean automaker has come. Think back 20 years to the dreary 2001 Hyundai Elantra and you get what I am on about. Back then you bought a Hyundai because you had too not because you wanted to. Although they have been making cars for some time (Hyundai motor company founded in 1967) it’s taken them a while to get good. Looking at this i20N they have definitely come good, and I would gladly buy this over a Polo GTI. So what have Hyundai put together here?.
From what I read they haven’t just put a more powerful engine, dropped the suspension and put bigger wheels on it, oh no there way more. Starting under the hood the i20N makes use of a 1.6l turbo petrol which is good for a healthy 204ps and 275Nm. That torque figure is available from a low 1750rpm allowing it to sprint to 100kmh in 6.7 seconds. That time is the same as the current Polo GTI. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. Another welcome feature I might add is the mechanical LSD, which will help pull the i20 out of the corners. The I20N also rides on dedicated 215/40 R18 Pirelli P-Zero ultra-high-performance tyres with “HN” mark (standing for “Hyundai N”).
Ride and Handling.
In order to keep that body and power under control, the N engineers tackled the suspension. The suspension features reinforced front domes and knuckles with adjusted geometry. This includes increased camber for better traction and five fixation points for the wheel as well as a new anti-roll bar, new springs and shock absorbers for maximum driving fun. The all-new N Power Sense Axle at the front combined with a Dual Coupled Torsion Beam Axle (CTBA) at the rear provide higher stiffness for improved ride and handling performance. Meanwhile, the high-performance brakes feature an increased front disc, which is 40 mm larger than the regular i20, for increased fading resistance and a more consistent brake pedal feel.
The all-new i20 N is equipped with a number of dedicated functionalities for a sporty fun-to-drive experience. The N Grin Control System offers customers a high level of customisation, with five distinct drive modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, N and N Custom. The drive modes adjust the parameters of the engine, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), exhaust sound and steering in order to optimise them for a variety of driving conditions. Another great thing carried over from the i30N is the inclusion of the rev-matching feature as well as being able to disable the TC completely.
Inside, the all-new i20 N represents a high-performance driving space with a host of N-specific advanced and high-tech premium features. This includes dedicated sport seats with an integrated headrest that are unique to the all-new i20 N, as well as N steering wheel and N gear knob and sporty N metal pedals. The black interior features Performance Blue accents throughout and all‑black head lining.
The digital cluster and AVN screen include features such as the variable LED red zone, which varies according to engine oil temperature, and the shift-timing indicator, which shows the driver the best time to switch gears.
The New i20N is a fantastic package and I feel it deserves to be recognized as such. So if you are in the market for a proper hot hatch and can wait till Spring 2021(Europe) please do so. I would personally love to see these on the road.