N for Namyang – The All New Hyundai i30N
The all new Hyundai i30N is a premiere of the performance range from Hyundai. The letter N stands for Namyang, where the company’s research and development centre is located – it also represents a “racetrack’s chicane curve” – clever. The car is has finally arrived in South Africa and it promises a blend of performance and everyday accessibility.
Subtle is what came to mind the first time we saw pictures of the i30N – the front of the looks purposefully aggressive, dominated by massive air intakes and a cascading grille with the N badge in it and just underneath that, you have a splitter that comes in a beautiful Racing Red colour. It looks good, and aggressive. Although if you are looking for a car that screams “look at me, this is not it – you might want to look at something like the Honda Civic Type R. The side of the car is to be quite honest, nothing to write home about – it features a side sill and 18-inch rims for the standard i30N and 19-inches for the Performance version. The rear is probably my favourite part of the car’s exterior. It looks chunky, mainly due to the car’s lowered ride height. There’s also a rear spoiler that has a triangular third brake light which looks quite cool. The Racing Red colour appears again in between the twin-exhausts, and gives the car a nice look from the rear.
The interior takes on the philosophy of the exterior, in that, it is nothing to write home about if you compare it with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTi. It does features differences from the normal i30 and the nicest in my opinion are the seats which come with an option to have them in a leather/suede combination or leather/cloth combination. Some of the differences from the normal i30 include a new leather wrapped steering, featuring a “Drive Mode” button and an “N” customisable button, you also get a short, round gear lever. The interior features an 8-inch infotainment screen which comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and there’s a wireless charger for your mobile phone.
There 2 versions of the i30N – A normal version, and a Performance version. Both are powered by a 2-litre engine that produces 184kW in the normal version (not available for the South African market) and 202kW in the performance version, and both produce 353N.m. Power is put down through the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission (there is no automatic version). Hyundai claims the i30N should be able to go from standstill to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds and 6.4 seconds respectively.
Both versions of the i30N have a top speed of 250km/h. Due to the Drive Mode button located on the steering wheel, the i30N can be configured into 3 driving modes: Eco, Normal, Sport and a further 2 modes at a push of the N button – N Mode and N custom, where up to 2000 combinations can be configured for the steering wheel, engine, exhaust, suspension and electronically limited slip differential.
The Hyundai i30N is priced from R679 900, Whether or not the i30N will be a success is also to be determined, as it will be going against some very fierce competition from the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTi, Honda Civic Type R and Renault Mègane R.S.