Kor blimey – i30 N’s a hot-hatch cracker
A NEW kid’s on the block for hot hatchback lovers – and it’s a fiery model that is guaranteed to get the adrenalin pumping
The i30 N is Hyundai’s first high-performance car under the N line-up.
It arrived in the UK at the start of the year and I’ve just had my first taste of this model.
One word sums up my early impressions of the i30 N – WOW!
There are two specs, i30 N and i30 N Performance, priced from £24,995 and £27,995 on the road.
The exterior styling gives you a little idea of what to expect when you get behind the wheel.
It sits lower to the ground than a standard i30 and has aggressive front and rear bumpers with larger air intakes, red character line, aerodynamic rear spoiler and dual muffler exhaust.
The i30 N has a high level of standard equipment that includes LED head and taillights, adaptive speed control, keyless entry with start/stop button, eight-inch touchscreen satnav with Android Auto and Apple Car Play.
Performance equipment includes 18-inch alloys with sport tyres, electronically controlled suspension.
There’s also a torque vectoring system and steering mounted drive mode buttons, allowing the drive to access and customise engine and suspension settings.
Additional features on the N Performance include leather and suede sports seats with electrical operated driver’s and front passenger’s seats, 19-inch alloys and electronic limited slip differential.
It also gets an active variable exhaust system that brings super crackle and pop sounds from the exhaust in N or Custom drive mode.
Under the bonnet of this hot hatchback is a four-cylinder 2.0-litre T-GDI turbo engine that delivers 250 PS and 275 PS.
Both i30 N and N Performance models are electronically limited to a top speed of 155mph with a zero to 62mph sprint time of 6.4 and 6.1 seconds respectively.
I sampled the Performance model and it didn’t disappoint when it came to delivering fast, fun driving.
Right from the off there’s a super sporting sound coming from the exhaust.
There are a number of driving modes allowing you to alter suspension, engine and transmission set-ups, and the touchscreen displays all this information as well as lap and acceleration timer, with performance gauges including engine torque, turbo boost and even G-force.
A precise six-speed manual transmission allowed fast changes up and down the gears.
This i30 N raced out of the blocks and the active exhaust on the Performance model brought some great fun noises.
It can also perform without the roar if you are looking for a quiet drive around town but it was those crackle and pop sounds that excited my little grandson when he got a ride in the car.
Out on my own though, and chasing along some winding, country roads, this front-wheel drive model was a joy to drive.
It was super agile at speed and clung to the tarmac as I went in and out of bends.
This high-performance i30 won’t disappoint hot-hatch fans but it’s also a car you can drive as a less-sporting hatchback if you feel so inclined.
The five drive modes are Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom settings – selected by using two buttons on the steering wheel.
They change the character of the car, adjusting the parameters of the engine, the dampers electronic stability control, electronic limited slip differential, sound, steering and rev-matching.
You can also select the rev-matching to increase revs when shifting from a higher to a lower gear.
And Launch Control enables you to launch the car as fast as possible by controlling engine torque.
The i30 N Performance is a great first hot hatch from Hyundai, bringing instant driving pleasure with lots of fun and exciting motoring.
And it also comes with the Korean car manufacturer’s leading five-year unlimited mileage warranty, five-year roadside assistance, five-year annual health check and 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.