The Hyundai i30 N hot bear has a smaller, adolescent brother. Meet the Hyundai i20 N, a new battling to the Ford Fiesta ST and VW Polo GTI.
Hyundai is assertive to aggrandize its hot-hatch ambit with a abridged rocket.
The 2021 Hyundai i20 N is a new battling to the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI and is due in Australian showrooms in the aboriginal bisected of abutting year.
Price is yet to be announced, but it is accepted to be agnate to – or hardly beneath than – the Fiesta ST and Polo GTI, both of which are about $32,000 additional on-road costs.
Ahead of its arrival, Hyundai Australia accustomed a ancestor development agent for final validation assignment afore it goes into assembly in Turkey aboriginal abutting year (the Hyundai i30 N comes from the Czech Republic).
Design elements of the Hyundai i20 N accept been teased for months, about it is not due to be appear in all its celebrity for addition anniversary or so.
While ‘city hatchbacks’ are dematerialization from bounded showrooms because avant-garde boilerplate models are too big-ticket for Australian tastes, some brands are blind in there with achievement variants.
In the aforementioned way Ford Australia now alone offers the ST in the new Fiesta line-up, Hyundai Australia has adopted to activity alone the N adaptation of the new i20. (We absent out on the antecedent i20 all together.)
As a hot hatch, a accustomed blueprint applies: install a able agent in a baby and failing package.
In this case, Hyundai developed a revised adaptation of its 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder begin in added models (i30 N Bandage and Veloster). However, the account of changes is yet to be revealed.
Early estimates called an achievement of about 150kW/280Nm. However, official abstracts appear as this commodity was appear appear an achievement of 150kW/275Nm.
By comparison, a Ford Fiesta ST has an achievement of 147kW/290Nm from its 1.5-litre three-cylinder, while the VW Polo GTI has an achievement of 147kW/320Nm from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder.
We haven’t affected power-to-weight ratios because we don’t yet apperceive the Hyundai i20 N figure, admitting aboriginal estimates say it will tip the scales at about 1250kg.
This compares to 1285kg for the VW Polo GTI and 1191kg (tare weights) for the Ford Fiesta ST.
The Hyundai i20 N is alone accessible with a six-speed manual, alike admitting a seven-speed twin-clutch auto is commutual to the 1.6-litre turbo in added Hyundai cars – and an eight-speed auto is about to become accessible on the adapted Hyundai i30 N. (Read our i30 N automated review.)
Hyundai says there are no affairs for an automated i20 N, but enthusiasts are hopeful it could chase a few years from now – as the aggregation did with the i30 N, amazing its addition to advance out engineering resources.
The i20 N development affairs was led by Hyundai in Europe – by the aforementioned aggregation amenable for the i30 N – and, as with its bigger brother, this car was acid on Germany’s Nurburgring.
It’s fair to say Wakefield Park Raceway is a continued way from the Nurburgring – geographically and philosophically – about both circuits accept one affair in common. They are accepted amid weekend racers who appetite to analysis their abilities and booty their car to the limits, and off the streets.
Although the ancestor agent is registered as an engineering development vehicle, it cannot be apprenticed on accessible anchorage by anyone alfresco the company, so Hyundai let media apart on a chase track. No complaints here.
The car is abutting to final production, but its hand-built ancestor cachet agency there is, understandably, some amateurish surfaces and some amateurish business.
The key ingredients, though, are abutting to final spec. The basement position is adequate and has abounding adjustment.
A acceptable surprise, the apparatus array is a widescreen agenda display, agnate to that begin in the Volkswagen Polo GTI. The i20 N ancestor was additionally able with a ample 10.25-inch agenda infotainment awning (versus 8.0-inch screens in the Ford and VW hot hatches).
The council caster is the aforementioned as the one from the i30 N, with compact duke grips and buttons for the assorted drive modes.
The abeyance is not adjustable in the i20 N, but there is still ambit to personalise burke response, council feel, and bankrupt note.
In the cossack is a space-saver additional and a two-tier floor. The aback seats accept two ISOFIX child-seat ascent credibility and three top tethers, in case you charge to get this over the bandage as a ancestors car.
Other accessible touches for the circadian grind: advanced and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, LED headlights, tyre burden monitors, a sensor key with advance button start, and wireless buzz charging (with a mat ample abundant for a big smartphone in a beefy case, such as mine).
Only the driver’s window on the Hyundai i20 N has one-touch auto up and bottomward functionality; the Ford Fiesta ST and VW Polo GTI accept one-touch switches (up and down) on all four windows.
Now, aback to the added absorbing stuff.
The 18-inch charcoal admixture auto are captivated in 215/40 R18 Pirelli P Zero tyres developed accurately for this car.
There is a distinct bankrupt outlet, admitting the muffler is bi-modal, so you’re able to drive the car in quiet approach or accomplish a racket. Alike at abounding noise, the complete is a little muted. You can apprehend bankrupt gases ample about in the muffler amid accessory changes, but it’s not as loud or as brittle as some enthusiasts ability like.
The clamp pedal and the six-speed chiral about-face activity are ablaze and easy.
And with that, we were off on the aboriginal alternation of hot laps. To attending afterwards the tyres we were accustomed a one-lap balmy up, two laps in anger, additional a cool-down lap.
Road tyres tend to about-face to blab afterwards two or three laps on a chase track. That said, this clue analysis approved that the achievement Pirelli P Zero tyres custom fabricated for the i20 N are absolutely arresting and weren’t rolling their edges as I was expecting.
Driving abundantly on the out lap and blockage low in the engine’s rev range, the Hyundai i20 N acquainted active and responsive. The council acquainted ablaze and direct.
After aggravating to appearance I was actuality affable for the countdown lap, it was time to cut loose.
Having done endless laps about actuality in a Ford Fiesta ST, it was bound credible how abutting Hyundai has modelled the i20 N on the Ford, including the torsion-beam rear end and the addiction to erect a rear caster in bound turns (see our gallery).
The accessory ratios acquainted about identical to the Ford; third accessory is acclimated appealing abundant everywhere except back avaricious fourth on the capital straight, and afore the about-face assimilate the capital straight. Second is additionally accessible for a acceptable run assimilate the capital straight, but you can additionally break in third there if you’re so inclined.
At this point you’re allegedly adage “blah banausic who cares about gears”. All you charge to apperceive is the agent and gearing are akin finer the aforementioned as the Ford Fiesta ST.
That means, I’m guessing, it will feel active in the circadian bullwork in the aforementioned way the Ford Fiesta ST does – but we won’t apperceive this for assertive until we can sample a assembly car on absolute roads.
After a brace of hot laps, the Hyundai i20 N acquainted at home. The 320mm advanced anchor discs (clamped by amphibian calipers) acquainted like they had added braking ability and beneath achromatize than the Fiesta ST (278mm advanced discs additionally clamped by amphibian calipers).
As acceptable as the brakes are – and they would acceptable be added than abundant for circadian active – they can never be big abundant on a clue car. The acceptable news, kids, is the new 360mm advanced discs from the Hyundai i30 N (up from 345mm) allegedly bolt beeline on, with the aforementioned account and five-stud arrangement as the i20 N.
We’ve asked Hyundai to ask the arch architect if there are any abrogating ancillary furnishings of accomplishing this. It would be cheaper than always throwing anchor pads at (as I did with my Ford Fiesta ST until, one day, I went metal to metal. Lesson learned).
Although this was by no agency a back-to-back test, the Hyundai i20 N acquainted like it had a little added absorption than the Fiesta ST out of bound turns, in allotment due to the automated limited-slip advanced cogwheel (which the Fiesta ST additionally has), but additionally due to grippy tyres and added torque from lower revs.
The latest Ford Fiesta ST (290Nm) has added aiguille torque than what has been estimated for the Hyundai i20 N (270Nm or 280Nm). About you absolutely charge to activity the Ford’s three-cylinder to ability its ability band, admitting the Hyundai seems to accept added in assets at lower revs, which makes it easier to ascend out of corners back binding on the throttle. The Hyundai i20 N feels, in abounding ways, like the antecedent WZ Ford Fiesta ST (which additionally had 1.6-litre power).
The Hyundai i20 N ancestor was such a bang I greedily asked for addition ride on the rollercoaster.
While added guests weren’t attractive I was accustomed addition balmy up lap, two hot laps, and a air-conditioned down.
“Right,” I acknowledged. “One balmy up, three hot laps and a air-conditioned down,” as the man with the clipboard formed his eyes.
With anniversary lap I accustomed added assurance in the car and braked added into anniversary corner. This car was arch me adrift and I capital to advance harder still – again I remembered it wasn’t my car, and I’m not a chase driver.
I may accept done added laps than accustomed in the end. I actively advised blockage out until they coiled me in – or absitively to actualize a alley block out of hay, aloof like in the Dukes of Hazzard.
But I didn’t appetite to beat my limits, or the car’s.
I accept no abstraction how the i20 N handles the circadian grind, but if the abeyance doesn’t feel like a billy-cart on aflutter roads, Hyundai ability be assimilate a winner.
There is accurately a lot of advertising about the all-wheel-drive Toyota GR Yaris abridged rocket, which is in a altered amount and achievement alliance to the Hyundai i20 N.
But, if Hyundai can under-price and over-deliver with the i20 N against its hot bear peers, we could be witnessing a new band car in the making.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As a ancestor agent test, we accept larboard this analysis unscored. For our appraisal of the absolute manual-only i30 N range, see our links beneath – and break acquainted for our abounding analysis of the market-ready i30 N chiral and DCT automated models.