Hyundai is just about ready to show us the all-new, third-generation i30, but we will have to patiently wait until next year for the crown jewel of the range. The first fully-fledged N model of the company’s new performance division will attempt to go up against well-established competitors in the segment such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Ford Focus ST.
In the latest teaser video, Hyundai is showing us a camouflaged prototype of the i30 N based on the outgoing, second-gen model. Thanks to several batches of spy images, we already know the hot-hatch is going to be derived from the forthcoming new i30. That’s certainly a good thing since teasers released in recent weeks have shown the new regular model is going to have a much more refined appearance and in N guise it’s already looking very promising, despite the camouflaged applied on spotted prototypes.
At the heart of the 2017 i30 N is going to be an entirely new turbocharged, four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine. Hyundai isn’t saying just yet how much power it is going to deliver, but most likely it will have somewhere in the region of 250 hp, if not more. Initially, the range-topping model of the i30 family is going to be offered exclusively with a front-wheel-drive layout, but they’re also analyzing the prospects of an AWD model. It could arrive further down the line, with a potential market launch in 2018 or 2019 to face the Golf R and Focus RS. It might also have to battle the Megane RS taking into account the rumor mill is indicating Renault has plans to give its new five-door-only spicy Megane an AWD-exclusive setup.
Getting back to the FWD model, purists will be happy to hear Hyundai will sell the i30 N with a six-speed manual gearbox. If you really care about track times, a quicker automatic transmission is on the agenda for a possible 2018 introduction. Speaking of the track, an optional kit to make the car even quicker around a circuit will be available at an additional cost. The extra goodies being prepared include a bump in output matched by larger brakes, along with an upgraded exhaust system, and an electronically-adjustable limited-slip differential.
While details about the 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) acceleration are not available at this point, we do know from Albert Biermann, Hyundai’s Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development, the i30 N is going to hit 155 mph (250 kph). And it’s going to do that at an ‘affordable’ price, so it might undercut the GTI and ST.
Hyundai isn’t saying when it will actually show us the production-ready car, but we might see it in March 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show. Until then, the regular next-gen i30 which is being described as ‘a car for everybody’ is pinned for a September 7 online reveal and will be publicly exhibited in October at the Paris Motor Show where it will share the spotlight with the facelifted i10.