Although they do say the camo adds 10 pounds.
The good news is that the wait for the debut of the first car from Hyundai N—the automaker’s in-house performance division—is coming close to an end. The bad news is that the first car it’s producing, the i30 N, likely won’t be available in the US. That makes these spy shots a bit bittersweet. It’s great to see the hopped-up hatchback out testing but it’s a real punch to the gut to know that we likely won’t be able to see what Hyundai’s first N performance car is made of.
All sadness aside, here is what Hyundai is bringing to the table. The i30 N will come in two flavors: standard and performance. There will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood of both with power coming in somewhere between 240 to 260 horses. It’s not known as of yet if the performance-spec i30 N will feature a different tune than the standard version or if it will just be lighter and pack more aero bits. These spy shots don’t show much, which is a testament to the camouflage pros over at Hyundai. You have to squint hard to see the new air intakes up front and in back, and be sure not to blink or you’ll miss the wider side sills and revised front spoiler.
While the spy shots are a bit disappointing (due to the camo), Hyundai did recently release a new teaser video for the i30 N. This video once again focuses on the sound the car makes, with its exhaust sounding quite menacing at full clip.
By all accounts the i30 N should be a fantastic little hot hatch. The i30 is getting a complete performance makeover, which includes more rigid engine and transmission mounts, a revised mechanical power steering system, a modified suspension, bigger brakes—basically everything you’d expect a hot hatch to have, including a six-speed manual. Now when it comes to automotive spy shots the camo tends to add a bit more than 10 pounds. But we can’t shake the feeling that the i30 N looks a bit tame. Hopefully once the wrapping fully comes off we’ll be proved wrong. The stock i30 four-door looks great, but Hyundai will need to do much more to make the performance version stands out.
This car won’t have the horsepower to take down the top dogs in its segment (Ford Focus RS, Golf R, etc…), so it’ll need another selling point, like a sharp and performance-focused design, to convince people that South Korea really knows how to do hot hatches. If Hyundai combines manages to swing that and price the i30 N a bit below its competitors than it could have a hit on its hands...in Europe, anyway.