2017 Hyundai i30 N: upcoming hot hatch spotted testing
It seems the answer could be the hotted-up i30 N, which is currently being put through its paces ahead of its launch later in the year.
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Currently undergoing winter testing, Hyundai’s first high-performance model has been spotted in Sweden, albeit heavily disguised. As such, we don’t know exactly what to expect when it’s finally unveiled, but it is likely to be a toned-down version of the company’s RN30 concept we saw at the Paris Motor Show last autumn.
Hyundai says the first N model will “bring together motorsport experience and high-performance road car development, creating maximum driving enjoyment on the road and on the track in an accessible high-performance car package”.
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If it has just half of the RN 30’s 375bhp and 451Nm of torque, we reckon it will manage it. Official power specs are to be confirmed, although it’s rumoured to feature a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that’ll be comparable to the Golf GTI and Focus ST in terms of power.
We can also expect it to get a slick semi-automatic gearbox (similar to Volkswagen’s DSG system), as well as a traditional manual option. It’ll also benefit from a stiffer chassis set-up, that according to Hyundai allows “a normal driver to get a sensation similar to that of a racing car.”
Hyundai’s world rally championship driver Thierry Neuville takes the i30 N for a spin
Although the car is unlikely to feature four-wheel drive, it gets a limited slip differential, adjustable dampers and selectable driving modes which, if they’re any good, means it should be more than capable of putting up a fight against its established European rivals.
Commenting on the testing, Thierry Neuville, world rally championship driver of Hyundai Motorsport said: “The engineers have done a great job on the gearbox and the differential. There is good traction and good stability in the slippery testing conditions.”
Alexander Eichler, head of high-performance vehicle test and development at Hyundai’s Technical Centre, outlined the objective for the i30 N: “The main target for us is to ensure driving enjoyment. Symbolising a chicane, the ‘N’ logo embodies this aspect - an agile vehicle that is fun to drive.”
We can expect to see the i30 N in the flesh at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. We have no idea how much we can expect it to be, but if it’s like most Hyundai cars it should prove good value and marginally undercut its rivals.
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