Hyundai heats up the hot hatch game with the i30 NHyundai might be a new name in the hot hatch world but some very experienced hands help the i30 N gain a seat at the table.
[BLANK_AUDIO] Welcome to the Hyundai i30N. This launch has been somewhat constrained in terms of time. So we've used every available opportunity to film, including in the airport, and at the hotel. As you're about to see. We hope you enjoy. [MUSIC] It's Sunday afternoon, we're in Heathrow airport and we're off to Rome. And I'm quite excited, because I don't really know what I'm gonna find, we're on the Hyundai i30 N launch. And this is the launch of. A whole new performance brand. So it's not like a new Golf GTI, where you kind of know roughly what you're sort of expect I suppose Or a, Focus, you know what to expect with an ST compared to an RS. And this is all sort of, yeah, it's on loan. So it's exciting. [LAUGH] A late flight A pitiful amount of sleep, the lack of coffee and I looked well terrible the following morning. Brace yourselves. It's early the following morning and this is the first time I've actually had a proper chance to look the I 30 N. It's no Civic Type R, that's for sure. There are no sort of massive wings and scoops and intakes and stuff like that, which many will think is a very good thing indeed. It's got this new blue, mimicking the rally car. A little lip at the front, little bit of red. Spoiler at the back with a nice triangle light high up in it. Apart from that, and the big wheels, it's subtle. Thankfully I found coffee and soon we were on the road, heading about an hour north of Rome to a race track called [UNKNOWN]. So the exterior's quite subtle, what about the interior? Well if this is your first exposure to a Hyundai it's not a VW. But it's well specked. I'm not sure about this which is sort of just been plunked here a little bit like a Sega Game Gear if you're old enough to remember what one of those is. And to be honest I'd rather spend the money Proper mechanicals rather than lavishing this in all sorts of fake carbon fiber. [NOISE] All the touch points in the car, well, they've obviously worked hard on those. The steering wheel is, the steering's nice, good to hold, covered in leather. Gear knob, very nice. Seats Possibly just a smidgen too high, but well, it's not exactly giving you a bear hug. They do hold you, decently in the corners, which is just as well. Here we are. Just gonna do a few laps. [MUSIC] Valet lounge is where things began to get interesting. Given the slightly tane looks, the grip, poise and pace of the i30 N served up on track. Startling. Two things stood out in particular. Firstly, the well weighted steering which inspired confidence both at administrator head and with lock on. And I should communicate in information. Secondly, the electronically controlled [UNKNOWN] which is hugely effective [UNKNOWN] power down on a corner exits. How would this translates to the road? [MUSIC] I should say that there two versions of this car, the Zi30N and the Zi30N Performance, which is what we're in. This gets an extra 25 break horsepower, gets bigger wheels. They're an inch larger in diameter and half an inch wider as well. It also, interestingly, gets its own specific tire. Now there's Super sport on the standard i30N, which is a very good time. But Hyundai's seen fit to actually go and develop its own tire with Pirelli for th performance. As you can tell me the little HN badge on the side. [INAUDIBLE]. You may be wondering why N when we have all sorts of letter for performance, you know R, S, RS, M for BMW. And now N what it stands for is the N for [UNKNOWN] and N for [UNKNOWN] which is in South Korea. And also apparently looks like a Chicane. Which this car is obviously built for, so now you know N, the new performance letter. [BLANK_AUDIO] In normal driving you've got three modes accessed by this drive mode button down here. So eco, normal, and sport. What we're interested in though The end custom modes accessed by this checkered flag button just here. In the end custom mode you can tailor, well pretty much everything. Steering, suspension, the electronic, the control. You can sort of dif, the efc, the engine, the exhaust sound. You made this car your own. The TGDI engine is a turbo charged two liter in line four cylinder. It puts out 247 brake horsepower and standard guys, brought just over 270 brake horse power in the performance version. Both cars get 260 pounds foot of torque, with an overboost function, increasing that to 279 pounds foot. And the performance version will hit 62 miles an hour from the standing start in 6.1 seconds. In terms of character, well it's fine like most of the other similar engines in this class it is strong and effective without being particularly memorable in spite of the pops and crackles which sounded like a slightly more natural version of the [INAUDIBLE]. [MUSIC] The i30 N has MacPherson struts in the front and a multi link setup in the rear which is all fairly predictable. But it also has some pretty trick dampers and they were put it through about a tough a test as I can imagine on the launch. In normal mode, the ride, while not pillowy soft It's perfectly comfortable on the motorway. On track the dumping was every bit as firm and supportive as you could wish. But the most impressive thing, was how it dealt with Italy's version of a B road. Some stretches were so bumpy, [UNKNOWN] and generally gnarly, that it looked as though there had been a localized meteorite shower Yet the i30 N took it all in it's stride. [NOISE] I've knocked the suspension back one notch, just the sport for these bumpy roads, just because otherwise you do get a better torque steering. [SOUND] It really is very impressive on. Surprised by just how much you can grab this car by the scruff of the neck. The dish works really well. Steering accurate, well-weighted. There's subtle adjustability in their as well. But it's progressive when it reaches the limit. The gear shift feels tight. It's a bit notchy around the gate, but I'd rather that than it be [UNKNOWN] and fluffy. The breaks are fantastic, it's really nice. Firm [UNKNOWN] from the top of the pedal so you can lean on inter corners. [UNKNOWN] just to help get a nice [UNKNOWN] and get back to the [UNKNOWN] with [UNKNOWN] This is a seriously impressive car. [SOUND] Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Hyundai has had such a good first stab at a hot hatch. After all, their world rally team is doing rather well, and the man in charge of the Hyundai N division is a chap called [UNKNOWN] Biermann. Those of you that know your BMWs will recognize that name as belonging to the man who originally joined BMW as part fo the E30 M3 development team, and decades later, had risen to chief engineer in the N division. Despite not being used to the front wheels doing the driving, he appears to have sprinkled more than a little magic on the neighboring letter in the alphabet. And all this for just 25,000 pounds down to trim, or 28,000 pounds if you want the slippy diff, trick tires, and extra power. As you can tell I was very impressed with the car in the launch. I think GTIs, STs, even RSs will underestimate at their peril. All in all it's been a very impressive day with the new Hyundai i30 N performance. But perhaps encouragingly I actually should have gone even further. This one is here and to the casual glance it's exactly the same but this has got Trofeo tires on it, its got padded pads, there's a three way adjustable [INAUDIBLE] in the back. Inside there's some Recaro buckets. They mean business, Hyundai and that they're clearly, they're going places with this brand. This is not just [INAUDIBLE] in the water. If anything, the mechanicals I think they've got sort of, you don't need to worry about those, they clearly know what they're doing. I would like to see the car probably grow bit of a bigger wing, bit of a bigger splitter. Just some [UNKNOWN]. I think mechanically [UNKNOWN] looks wise they can go even further, luckily there is a car here that proves they can make one very good indeed. [MUSIC]