Once again offered as a hatch or a coupe-styled fastback, the N builds on the updates applied to the standard i30 by receiving a wider, Sonata inspired grille, new LED headlights with integrated V-shaped daytime running diodes, revised bumpers with so-called air curtains on the flanks of the front, standard 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres and a set of quad exhaust outlets integrated into the tweaked rear diffuser.
As part of the optional Performance Package, the N gets newly designed 19-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in specifically made Pirelli PZero tyres that are said to be 14.4 kg lighter than the soon-to-be-outgoing model’s similarly sized wheels. In addition, the Pack comes with red N branded brake calipers with bigger 360 mm discs and dark satin grey matte trim. In total, seven colours are offered; Polar White, Shadow Grey, Phantom Black, Dark Knight, Sunset Red, Engine Red and the N bespoke Performance Blue.
Inside, the interior updates mirrors of the i30 standard, but also adds alloy pedals, an analogue instrument cluster, black suede or cloth seats with the fronts being heated, Performance Blue stitching, a heated steering wheel and, as an option, the new, lighter by 2.2 kg N Light front chairs trimmed in leather/Alcantara with Performance Blue stitch work and N badged headrests.
Safety has also been sharpened-up to include Lane Following Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Collision Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Warning on the hatch only and on the dual-clutch model, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist.
As already alluded to, the mentioned ‘box’ joins the standard six-speed manual on both the standard and Performance models, with its inclusion having resulted in a power uptake for the latter. In standard guise, the N’s 2.0-litre turbo punches out 184kW/353Nm while in Performance form, power rises from 202 kW to 206 kW with torque to 392 Nm. In Performance guise, the N will get from 0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds compared to 6.1 seconds, with top speed remaining unchanged at 250 km/h.
Carte Blanche is however reserved for the dual-clutch which receives three modes; the humours N Grin Shift that unleashes each model’s full output for 20 seconds, N Power Shift that engages once 90 percent of full throttle is achieved and N Track Sense Shift that activates once conventional road conditions are no longer detected.
Aside from the N keeping its five driving modes; Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom, the latter has four modes of its own; Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport+. Hyundai has also retuned the steering and suspension as well as furnishing the Performance Pack with an electronic limited slip differential.
Nkosinathi Innocent Sizwe Maphumulo, a popular South African Disk Jockey popularly known as DJ Black Coffee once put it this way, “If you want to make a difference and play with the big boys and girls, live where they do”, Hyundai did just that. It didn’t come cheap though. Hyundai Motor Corporation had to dig deep and ended up headhunting for the best brains and in came Albert Biermann, then vice president of engineering at BMW. Albert was brought in to solely turn things around at the Korean Company and these are the results.