Hyundai “very interested” in bringing i20 N to New Zealand

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Words: Matthew Hansen
21 Oct 2020

Following today’s big reveal of the Hyundai i20 hot hatch, Hyundai New Zealand has confirmed that the model is on their radar. But, not necessarily a given for the local market.

Speaking to NZ Autocar, a Hyundai New Zealand spokesperson underlined local enthusiasm for the new model, before stating that its status remains up in the air. “We, like many, are N enthusiasts,” they said. “We haven’t made a decision yet but are very interested in this model as part of our line-up.”

Read more: Hyundai i20 N breaks cover as a 152kW Fiesta eater 

The response follows the firm’s similarly coy response to earlier questions about whether the all-new i20 model would be coming to New Zealand. “We are still in the process of evaluating whether to introduce the new i20 to the NZ market,” it said at the time. “We will let you know when a decision is made.”

Hyundai are one of numerous manufacturers that have recently chopped and changed their Kiwi line-up to align with customer trends. Their quiet culling of the Sonata (formerly known as the i45) further showcased the market’s shift away from ‘traditional’ sedan and hatchback silhouettes and towards SUVs and utes.

The culling followed Subaru’s removal of the iconic Legacy from its line-up. Perhaps more relevant to the i20 is what Ford New Zealand recently did with the Fiesta — removing all models from its line-up, except for the zesty little ST hot hatch.

Don’t think it’s all doom and gloom, though. An NZ Autocar source has indicated that the i20 N’s inclusion to the local market “looks promising”. That’s good news for hot hatch fans, who could soon have a tantalising sub-compact hot hatch war on their hands between the best-selling Suzuki Swift Sport, people’s champ Ford Fiesta ST, premium Volkswagen Polo GTI, and upcoming four-wheel drive Toyota GR Yaris.

As previously reported, the N comes with a turbocharged 1.6-litre four with 152kW of power and 275Nm of torque. It’ll hit 100km/h in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 230km/h, according to Hyundai. A larger turbocharger and intercooler feature, as does Hyundai’s Continuously Variable Valve Duration tech, a 350 bar fuel injection system, and five different drive modes capable of adjusting engine response, stability control, transmission, steering and exhaust sound parameters.

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