Hyundai has whipped the covers off its latest hot Nurburgring-flavoured performance car; the i30 Sedan N.
The slightly goofy name indicates that the curious looking sports sedan is not a replacement for the i30 Fastback N, a model formerly sold in New Zealand. The new model is unlikely to be destined for our shores, but NZ Autocar has inquired with Hyundai’s local arm to check.
The i30 Sedan N is based around the new i30 Sedan sold in other markets, also sold as an Elantra or as an Avante. As such it gets some of the most out-the-gate, creased, distinctive styling of any compact sedan on sale.
The new N takes an already aggressive design and adds a raft of performance requisites. A larger grille with more vents, the N division’s signature red highlights, 19-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, a deeper diffuser, and more all feature.
Under the bonnet is a familiar 2.0-litre turbofour featuring the same updates as that of the recently updated ‘standard’ i30 N hatchback. As such it produces 206kW of popping and spitting power and 392Nm of torque.
This powertrain is paired to Hyundai’s new 8-speed dual-clutch, with — sadly — no manual transmission in sight.
In something of a makegood attempt, Hyundai’s dual-clutch comes with the brand’s ‘N Grin Shift’ system. At the push of a button this gives the car a temporary additional 7kW of power (making the Sedan N’s peak power figure technically 213kW) by increasing boost. Launch control has also been tossed into the fray.
With this mode actioned, Hyundai says the model can hit 100km/h in 5.3 seconds. That’s a credible seven tenths quicker than the hatch. The launch control and N Grin Shift can’t take all the credit though, with Hyundai also claiming that its revised intake systems have also sharpened engine response.
The Sedan N also gets Hyundai’s cornily named N Corner Carving Differential (its in-house electronic limited slip diff), potent 360mm brake discs, and an integrated drive axle. Hyundai claims the latter is inspired by its World Rally Championship cars.
By integrating the drive shaft, wheel hub, and bearing into a more condensed unit, it’s created something capable of “withstanding extreme lateral G-force” while also saving 1.7kg. Other Hyundai N firsts include the use of a dual compound insulator in the i30 Sedan’s front suspension. This helps separate front-to-rear and left-to-right driving characteristics, making for a more grown up and refined ride.
Combining all this with the inclusion of a set of Michelin PS4S 245s, and you’ve got an i30 Sedan that looks on paper like a car that would spank its hatchback cousin on a race track.
“Hyundai Motor’s high-performance N brand constantly aims to provide customers with a range of exciting choices for increased driving pleasure,” said Till Wartenberg, Hyundai Vice President and Head of N Brand Management & Motorsport. “i30 Sedan N is the purest expression of our mission to date.”