IN THE QUEST OF DOMINATING global markets, Hyundai has unveiled its Golf GTI and Focus ST challenger in the shape of the all-new i30 N, born in Namyang, Hyundai’s R&D centre in Korea. Hyundai brought in Albery Biermann from BMW’s M division to lead the project who left no stone unturned to take the fight to the iconic hot hatches and also to Nurburgring, where all the biggies are developed. Has it got all the right ingredients then?
A 4-cylinder, turbocharged 2-litre Theta engine churns out 247bhp and 353Nm, which can also be specced to 271 horses in the ‘Performance Package’ (PP) iteration. Compare this with the Golf GTI specs, which stand at 225bhp and 241 bhp, for the regular and performance package respectively. But the Golf gets similar torque and is 100kg heavier. Claimed 0-100kmph for the i30 N is 6.4 seconds, same as the standard Golf GTI but with the performance package, the i30 pips the Golf by 0.1 of a second! Maximum torque builds up all the way to 4500rpm from 1450rpm. Top speed is 250kmph.
But in the real world, how the power is put down matters more. The i30 N gets an electronic limited-slip front differential with the PP along with wider 19-inch Pirelli P Zero tyres (specifically developed for this car), adaptive dampers and larger brakes. It also sits lower than the regular i30 by 8mm. The i30 N comes with a variable sounding exhaust, with the sportiest setting tuned in ‘after fire’. It also gets sportier seats, steering wheel and a programmable key to shift between driver modes. The steering wheel gets a switch to toggle the auto-blipping downshift function. The touchscreen infotainment system allows for driver modes to be changed and displays info such as instant power, torque and boost numbers. The instrument cluster has been inspired by BMW’s M cars and comes with red shift-up lights. The i30 N will go all guns blazing at the end of this year in the European market. Will it ever make it to India? We really don’t think so. But then again the N treatment will be applied to the i20 very soon and that might come to India.