2021 Hyundai i20 N
2021 Hyundai i20 N

i20 N — attack mode built in

Riley Riley

Never is a long time in the land of cars sales and Hyundai’s i20 hatch is a perfect example.

Dropped from the lineup in 2015 because there was no longer any money in it, the tiddler is back with all guns blazing — in the form of a red hot i20 N.

N is Hyundai’s high performanc range, which also includes the i30 hatch and fastback and also the small Kona SUV.

The hatchback has been all but forgotten by SUV centric buyers, but the i20 N with a 150kW 1.6-litre turbo could give punters pause for thought.

It’s the engine from i30, Veloster and other models, which in the context of the smaller, lighter hatch means front row performance.

At $32,490 the i20 N will line up against the likes of Toyota’s GR Yaris ($49,500), VW Polo GTI ($32,890) and Ford Fiesta ST ($32,290).

Offered in a single feature-packed grade, i20 N is powered by a 150kW turbocharged 1.6 litre with overboost function driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual and mechanical LSD.

‘Flat Power’ tuning is applied to give the four cylinder broad torque, with 275Nm produced from 1750 to 4500rpm, and 304Nm available on overboost.

The direct-injected engine revs to a 150kW peak between 5500 to 6000rpm to give i20 N a potent power-to-weight ratio of 123kW per tonne.

“We are excited to introduce the i20 N compact hot hatchback, which follows in the tyre marks of our award-winning i30 N,” Hyundai’s Jun Heo said.

“As the second product from our lauded N Division, i20 N gives customers an attainable, practical and racetrack-capable everyday performance car.

“With an array of convenience and connectivity features, and SmartSense safety and N driving technologies, i20 N is a uniquely appealing light hot-hatch package,” he said.


Beneath the bonnet, a SmartStream 150kW, 275Nm 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine provides the firepower, and features Flat Power tuning, an active variable exhaust, a rev-matching function, plus N Mode and N Grin Control System.

The potent four-cylinder puts its power down via a six-speed manual and a mechanical limited-slip diff (LSD), while a performance brake package is designed to handle extensive on-track punishment.

Drivers can choose their ideal drive experience with the N Grin Control System (NGCS).

A total of six drive modes are offered, including two Custom modes that let you individually map engine response, exhaust noise, steering feel, stability control and rev matching to your desired levels.

With launch mode enabled, the engine spools the turbo and conditions other systems for the quickest possible getaway.

A Namyang- and Nürburgring-honed suspension ensures i20 N punches well above its weight on a backroad – or the racetrack.

Setting i20 N apart visually are a full body kit featuring a rear spoiler, 18-inch wheels wrapped in bespoke Pirelli P Zero HN tyres, and bright LED headlights and taillights.

Inside there are sports front bucket seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and alloy sports pedals.

Headlining the in-cabin tech are a 10.25-inch colour Supervision digital virtual instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch satellite navigation infotainment unit featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bose eight-speaker audio and a DAB+ digital radio.

There’s also a wireless (Qi standard) smartphone charging pad, a Smart key with push button start, and climate control air-conditioning.

i20 N is available in a choice of five solid, metallic and mica shades headlined by the signature Performance Blue, with an optional contrasting roof in Phantom Black.


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