Hyundai’s First Hot Hatch Sends Serious Message To Ford, VW

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Hyundai has released the technical specifications for its first performance car under its new N sub-brand, and the compact appears more than ready to take the fight to the current crop of hot hatchbacks.

The Korean automaker revealed Thursday that the i30 N won’t just be able to compete with its rivals from Ford and Volkswagen, it will put them in its rear-view mirror with ease.

It amazingly produces 271 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque from a 2-liter turbocharged in-line four-cylinder engine. Both the Ford Focus ST and VW Golf GTI have the same size engine as the i30 N, but the Ford makes just 252 horsepower and the VW only puts out 220 horses.

It isn’t just the Hyundai’s power output that impresses the most, though, as it seemingly delivers on N’s promise of an affordable track-ready daily driver. The i30 N has features such as an electronic limited-slip differential, automatic rev-matching, electronically controlled suspension, launch control and five different driving modes.

Hyundai i30 N

 

Hyundai ensured the styling, while not obnoxious, also distinguishes it from the standard i30 — sold in the U.S. as the Elantra GT. The hot hatch features a paint scheme that’s based on the one Hyundai uses in the World Rally Championship, a more aggressive aero kit, a triangular central brake light and two tailpipes on either side of the rear bumper.

On the interior, the i30 N has a center stag with a clean design that sits beneath a floating infotainment display, on which drivers can see their lap times and other performance metrics. There’s blue accent stitching throughout the cabin, including on the sport seats, steering wheel and the leather-wrapped gear shifter.

Hyundai i30 N

Although us American enthusiasts unfortunately won’t know for sure if the Hyundai i30 N is as good as it seems on paper — and sounds in videos — it gives us lots of hope for 2018, when an N-tuned Veloster is expected to arrive stateside. It probably similarly has its competitors, especially Ford, which has dominated the U.S. hot hatch market, a bit nervous.

All photos via Hyundai

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