The first car to roll out of Hyundai's N division is the new i30 hatchback. While the regular iteration was showcased earlier this year, the N is the most powerful i30 that Hyundai has ever rolled out. The car draws its dynamics and design inspiration from Hyundai's WRC arm and has been honed at the company's Namyang research centre and the Nurburgring. In fact, the car derives the N moniker based on a chicane in the 'Green Hell'. Hyundai says that the car can be used every day but is aimed mainly at the performance enthusiast.
Starting off with the looks, the Hyundai i30 N gets a new grille and 18- to 19-inch alloys. As is usually the case with performance cars, Hyundai engineers have added a few aerodynamic bits including wider intakes in the front, air inlets on the front that also serve fresh air to the brakes and effectively cooling them faster, as well as a diffuser and wing spoiler at the back. This makes it look sporty than the rest of the i30 models.
Inside the cabin, there are new sport-buckled seats as well as other goodies that Hyundai usually packs in their cars including a touchscreen infotainment system wired to the latest smartphone compatibility, and the instrument cluster is also sporty with a shift timer that can be used on the racetrack. Additional info that is displayed on the touchscreen system is the engine boost, rev matching, lap and acceleration timer. It also shows the N-mode menu that showcases stability control, steering, suspension and exhaust note customisation options. Hyundai designers have also applied generous smattering of N logos around the cabin to differentiate it from the regular i30.
The Hyundai i30 N gets all-new petrol engines mated exclusively to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The engines, both turbocharged, are available in a 250PS/353Nm and 275PS/353Nm configuration with the 2.0-litre engine. The less powerful engine races to 100kmph in 6.4s while the more powerful version reaches similar speeds 0.3s earlier. The i30 N in both the iterations attains a top speed of 250kmph. Hyundai calls the 275PS version as Performance Package, and it comes exclusively with 19-inch alloys wearing Pirelli rubber, red N brake calipers, variable exhaust valve system and Electronic Limited Slip Differential.
The i30 N has been specified with a whole lot of electronics. These include the Launch Control that can be used in the N mode. This basically switches off the Electronic Stability Control. Rev matching adjusts the engine revolutions according to the downshift executed. This can be controlled via a switch on the steering wheel column. Electronic Sound Generator basically provides additional exhaust note in the cabin for an enhanced sporty experience. There are also different driving modes - Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom. These alter the suspension, steering as well as engine response depending on the mode selected.
Hyundai has fitted the new i30 N with various camera sensors. These help systems like Automatic Emergency Braking, Driver Attention Alert, Lane Keeping Assist System and more. The High Beam Assist will recognise another car coming from the opposite direction and automatically switch to low beam.
The Hyundai i30 N models will go on sale globally by end of 2017. Will they be available in India? While not immediately on the anvil, Hyundai may bring it to the Indian market sometime in 2019.