SEOUL, South Korea – What Hyundai claims is South Africa’s first mass-produced high-performance car has arrived in South Africa – it’s the Hyundai i30 N hatchback.
Hyundai says the car was developed on three “cornerstones” under the theme “Fun to Drive”: Cornering, Racetrack Capability and Everyday Sport car with ”advanced” technology but with much owner customising possible to create a cross between a commuter and a track-ready performance car.
10 000km OF TRACK TESTING
The ‘N’ stands for Namyang, Hyundai Motors’ global research and development centre in Korea, and for the world-famous Nürburgring racing complex in Germany where Hyundai’s European Test Centre where vehicles built for Europe are developed and tested.
”The i30 N,” the automaker says, ”underwent 10 000km of driving on the Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring to establish durability.”
‘N’, however, is also said to reflect the cars’ track credentials. ”The letter,” Hyundai says, ”is a depiction of a race chicane and represents the i30 N’s philosophy of translating the joy of negotiating winding motorsport tracks to everyday road driving.”
The Hyundai’s rev-matching function as the car accelerates supports smooth gearshifts while an overboost function increases torque by eight percent and acceleration by as much as seven percent from the turbocharged, two-litre, 202kW engine.
”The exhilarating feeling,” the automaker adds, ”is enhanced by the distinct exhaust sound from the dual exhaust thanks to a variable exhaust valve and the instrument panel shows key performance data on a new instrument cluster and a 20cm floating screen.
The i30 N was launched in 2017 at the Frankfurt auto show but conceptualised on the track long before and developed, its maker says, ”to deliver a car which screams fun as much as its racing engine hums”.
In 2015 Hyundai Motor took an important step by hiring Albert Biermannn with his wealth of experience honing the performance and dynamics high-performance road and race cars. As president and head of the Vehicle Performance Division, has used his knowledge and experience of high-performance production cars to spearhead the development of the Hyundai N brand.
He told The Corner in a media release: “We aren’t afraid to do things differently here. Our N cars balance performance and practicality – fun to drive every day.
”Every N car loves cornering, hence the nickname we have given to their character: ‘Corner Rascal.’ Whether it’s urban commuting or track driving, N handles it beautifully.”
The 2020 i30 N now launched in South Africa with a Performance Package that – apart from the other N-features – include the 202kW turbocharged engine, an electronic limited-slip differential, a variable exhaust valve system, and 19” alloy wheel rims shod with Pirelli P-Zero performance tyres.
Here are what Hyundai says are ”some outstanding facts and features of the Hyundai i30 N”:
Five drive modes: ‘N Grin Control’. Buttons on the steering-wheel switch through Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom. Each changes the car’s character, adjusting the high-performance parameters of the vehicle, including its engine and rev matching.
Extraordinary stability and ride and handling: Such as electronically controlled suspension and limigted-slip diff for cornering capabilities in line with the i30 N’s hot-hatch character.
Built for speed: The i30 N’s max is 250 km/h, 0-100km/h in 6.1sec thanks to the engine’s max of 353Nm from 1500-4700rpm, reaching a maximum of 378Nm , briefly, in overboost.
Performance tracking: The latest connectivity with performance-analysing software. Entertainment features include smart-device synching through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the 20cm screen. Satnav info can also be displayed and for race-day track experiences the car’s systems can record lap times and g-force energy.
- The i30 N will be available through 14 Hyundai dealers in South Africa and one each in Botswana and Namibia. The SA outlets will be in Bellville (Cape Town), Somerset West, Port Elizabeth, Durban South, Pinetown, Umhlanga, Richard’s Bay, East Rand, The Glen, Sandton, Roodepoort, Centurion, Wonderboom and Polokwane.
However your i30 N can be serviced by any Hyundai dealer in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia or Eswatini.
…AND SO TO THE PRICE
Suggested retail price R679 900, which includes a seven-year or 200 000km warranty, roadside assistance for seven years or 150 000km, and a five-years or 75 000km service plan (each whichever comes first).
Service intervals 15 000km or 12 months.