For too long has the go-to hot hatch been either a VW or a Ford. As Hyundai has already proven, the new king on the block is its N series of hot and tasty hatchbacks. Now, the Korean marque is planning on pushing the envelope even further by opening the N brand to the rest of its products, with the first looking to be the i20.
Hyundai has already touched the i20 with the N badge on its i20 NLine revealed in September, but from the teasers just released, the i20 is now getting the full works. It has larger ‘N’ brakes, larger air intakes, a more aggressive bodykit, and a tasteful spoiler mounted over the hatch. It also sits lower than usual, only emphasised by its 18-inch alloy wheels. Of course, it will be wearing the iconic Performance Blue paint job, but with a Phantom Black roof.
The interior will likely have sporty enhancements like more bolstered seats, but what we’re most excited about is how it gets power to the ground. Hyundai is adamant to only let out that the i20N will be turbocharged, but there are rumours that it will be a 1.6-litre four-cylinder producing 201 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque under the bonnet.
This may not be barrels of power, but the N cars have always focussed on chassis and driving experience over power, with Albert Bierman infusing the car with his years of knowledge working on the best BMW M cars. This is why, unlike the VW Clubsport which is pulling the manual option from its list, the i20 will only be offered with a manual six-speed gearbox. This will transfer power to a limited-slip differential, depending on what market you’re in.
62mph will come and go in around 6.7 seconds, and this tiny hatch will carry on accelerating until around 143mph. But don’t think this won’t be exciting. The turbo is looking to be tuned to kick in late with plenty of boost, with it reaching full horsepower at 6,000rpm – this is going to be a very exciting drive with an engine you’ll want to rev out. Torque comes in a 2,000rpm and 320mm discs will be ready to slow you back down.
Suspension is a MacPherson strut setup at the front with a sturdy torsion beam at the rear. And, just like the i30, there’s a removable brace that sits behind the seats keeping the chassis rigid.
The perfect recipe for a small, fun car sits in the words above, and I’m getting very excited at the idea of having a taste. Maybe, Hyundai might put us on the list to try it out before its release next Spring?