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Hyundai has taken the wraps off its first true performance car i30N, the first model to be designed and developed by its new N performance division.
The i30N was developed with the focus on performance and will be available on two levels, and produces up to 271bhp. The i30N has endured a long testing period, including more than 6,000 miles of driving on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, under the leadership of Hyundai's high-performance boss, former BMW M division executive Albert Biermann.
Albert Biermann, Hyundai's executive vice president of its new high-performance vehicle division, says that it aims to deliver "an accessible high-performance package", indicating that it could undercut key rivals on price.
Under the hood, power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, delivering 247bhp and 353Nm of torque. This means the Hyundai's new entrant onto the hot hatch segment outperforms the 242bhp Golf GTI Performance pack on pure power, while the i30 N boasts a performance pack of its own, which produces up to 271bhp.
Power is sent to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox, and the base i30N can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds before topping out at 250km/h.
The performance pack cuts the 0 to 100 km/h by three-tenths to 6.1 seconds; however, the top speed remains electronically limited to 250km/h.
The Hyundai i30N boasts a host of performance parts including launch control and a rev-matching function, along with five selectable driving modes and electronically managed suspension.
A 'N button' urges the car into its most powerful setup, but drivers can customise it through an N Custom mode. For those opting the performance pack will receive an electronically limited slip differential, plus larger brakes, a variable valve exhaust system, and larger 19-inch wheels wearing Pirelli P Zero rubber alongside the additional power.
The i30N features numerous design changes compared to the standard i30, with a cascading grille and new aerodynamic features at both its front and rear. These include wider air intakes and a rear diffuser, with the latter aiding to reduce lift at speed.
The i30N sits 4mm lower than the standard car and receives twin exit exhausts at the back, along with 18inch or optional 19inch alloy wheels, which sit ahead of N-labelled brake callipers to signify the i30N's performance.
Inside the i30N, the dashboard and switchgear found in standard versions of the i30 is matched off with sporty new additions.
Regarding technology, a 5-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is included as standard, while the larger 8-inch display with built-in satellite navigation is optional, but it highlights new and exclusive N menu showing power usage, turbo boost, as well as a lap timing function.
Safety features are similar to the regular car, and autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, and a driver monitoring system makes it to the i30N.
The Hyundai i30N will heat up the hot hatch segment, and with the N performance division boss suggesting the pricing could be much lower than some its rivals, the i30N should be a winner, striking a balance between comfort and performance.