In a nutshell:
- Hyundai reveals details of new i20 N sporty hot-hatch
- With similar performance and power, the i20 N should be a direct rival to the Ford Fiesta ST.
- Due to go on sale early 2021, priced from around £20,000
- Joins the bigger brother i30 N in the performance ‘N’ range from Hyundai
- Also boasts limited slip differential for optimum cornering efficiency
Hyundai has revealed tantalising new details about its upcoming i20 N hot-hatch.
While the words ‘high performance’ and ‘Hyundai’ might not necessarily roll off the tongue, the Korean firm has been making significant inroads into the hot-hatch market in recent years.
First came the i30 N - the i20 N’s older brother.
That car went on sale in 2017 and, thanks to a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 276bhp on tap, soon went toe-to-toe with the VW Golf GTI.
The i30 N costs from £29,810 - and has just been treated to a facelift, with updated cars due to go on sale later this year.
And to coincide with the new i30 N, Hyundai have also lifted the veil on the first-ever i20 N, too.
The firm says it’s a race track capable weapon inspired by the i20 WRC rally car and will ‘contribute to an all-round sporty experience.’
It adds: “As with other Hyundai N models, the all-new Hyundai i20 N offers exclusive engine performance and dynamic technology innovations to satisfy performance-oriented enthusiasts. The latest model joins the i30 N and i30 Fastback N among Hyundai’s high-performance line-up in Europe.”
The look of the car is built around Hyundai’s rather odd-sounding ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design ethos, with a front end dominated by a large air intake for the turbo engine and brake cooling.
At the side, bespoke 18-inch wheels with a grey matte finish and N-branded brake callipers, as well as unique side sills, underline its sporty credentials.
A distinctive rear spoiler is said to enhance its ‘aerodynamic performance’ while making it ‘fun to drive on any road and in all weather conditions’.
Meanwhile you also get the i20 N’s Performance Blue livery, which is exclusive to Hyundai N models, and Phantom Black roof for an optional two-tone style, as well as nice red exterior accents.
While official details have yet to be revealed, the i20 N is expected to get a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine with 201bhp.
That’s more than enough to rival the Fiesta ST’s 1.5T EcoBoost engine with 197bhp to play with.
Like the ST, the i20 N will come as a six-speed manual only, and there’s a mechanical limited-slip differential to make sure it stays planted when cornering with enthusiasm.
Thanks to a low weight of 1,200kg, the i20 N will sprint from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of around 143mph.
That’s only marginally slower than the 6.5 sec 0-62mph time achieved by the ST.
And like the i30 N, the i20 N will boast plenty of drive mode options, giving owners the opportunity to adjust everything from the engine response to steering weight.
It’s due to go on sale early next year - so for further announcements, watch this space.
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