Check out Hyundai's new Ford Fiesta ST fighter in action.
Since the Ford Fiesta ST and Focus ST were discontinued, hot hatchbacks have been in short supply in the US. Hyundai has filled the void with the wonderful Veloster N, but the Korean automaker is also cooking up a hot Ford Fiesta ST fighter that will inevitably be forbidden fruit in America, sadly.
Earlier this year, Hyundai unveiled the new i20 subcompact hatchback, so it was only a matter of time before it was given the high-performance N treatment. To make us jealous, Hyundai has released a new video showing a prototype of the i20 N undergoing testing in extreme conditions on a frozen lake in northern Sweden. The i20 N prototype was given a thorough workout by Hyundai WRC driver Thierry Neuville. We also get to see the rally driver take the i20 WRC rally car and RM19 prototype for a spin to see how they compare.
Describing the i20 N, Neuville said the hot hatch is a "very interesting car. Very precise. Very easy handling. The engine is revving nicely and the noise is very interesting as well. I'm looking forward to get this one to drive in WRC!"
On the i20 WRC, Neuville added "The WRC cars really push to the extreme. And every detail is fine tuned to get the maximum performance and also to be adapted to a driving style." The rally driver also describes the RM19 as "very easy to drive. I had a big smile on my face because I was driving sideways quite a lot," he said.
The Hyundai i20 N prototype is covered in camouflage, but the larger brakes, lower suspension, and twin exhaust pipes make it obvious we're not looking at the standard i20.
Under the hood, the regular Hyundai i20 is powered by a 1.0-liter turbo engine producing 118 horsepower in its most powerful guise.
Technical specifications for the Hyundai i20 N haven't been confirmed yet, but the hot hatch is expected to pack a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo. In the Veloster, this unit produces 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, which will be a significant power increase over the standard i20. Hyundai says more details about the i20 N will be released soon, so its world debut can't be too far away.
While the Hyundai i20 N won't be coming to America since the standard car has never been sold here, Hyundai is planning to give several US models the N treatment including the Kona crossover and Elantra sedan.