Hyundai lifts wraps from i20 N 22 | 10 | 2020

    THIS IS HYUNDAI’S second performance model, the all-new i20 N. Set to go head-to-head with the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST, not surprisingly Hyundai says the small hot hatch has been inspired by its WRC rally car. The i20 N will go on sale in the UK early in 2021, with prices expected to start around £20,000. (Related: Hyundai i10 N pricing)

    Featuring a a wild body kit, which comprises a roof-mounted spoiler, unique side skirts that wrap around into a reshaped rear bumper with new diffuser, and a deeper front bumper with enlarged air intakes, it certainly stands out against the ‘standard’ i20.

    On the outside of the car, red detailing runs along the lower edge of the car’s bodywork. The i20 N will be available in a choice of ix different exterior colours are available: Performance Blue, Polar White, Aurora Grey, Sleek Silver, Brass and Phantom Black. In addition to 18-inch alloys and red-painted brake calipers, LED head and tail lamps are also standard kit.


    Power comes from a new 201bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.  Unlike the larger, Hyundai has no intention of offering a dual-clutch automatic version. The six-speed manual gearbox has been reinforced to cope with the greater amount of power. (Related: Hyundai Kona Hybrid returns 70mpg)

    Peak torque of 275Nm is available from 1,750rpm right across the rev band until 4,500rpm. It’s also expected UK models will be fitted with a mechanical limited slip differential. The strengthening of the gearbox has also allowed Hyundai to fit a launch control function.


    Tipping the scales at just 1190kg — the same as the WRC car — Hyundai says the i20 N can cover the 0-62mph sprint in 6.8 seconds  and has a top speed of 143mph.

    Five driving modes — Normal, Eco, Sport, N and N Custom — are available in the i20 N. All five adjust the  parameters of the car’s engine response, exhaust noise, steering feel and stability programmes depending on the mode. Owners will also be able to adjust each individual setting to their own taste using the N Custom mode.


    As for the chassis, Hyundai engineers have added new springs and dampers, increased front camber, uprated brakes that are 40mm larger and retuned electronic power steering. The suspension setup is passive, with no electronic damper control a part of the package. The chassis has also been reinforced at 12 different points to ensure greater agility while driving.


    Inside, the cabin remains very similar to that of the regular i20. There are though the obligatory sports seats, plus a sports steering wheel — which sits ahead a digital instrument cluster — and aluminium pedals. The centre of the dash is dominated by a 10.2-inch touchscreen system. In addition to supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it also gives access to all of the car’s functions as well and adjustable driving modes.


    Safety, of course, is paramount, and the i20 N comes with Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Lane Following Assist, and Forward Collision Assist City as standard.

    Prices and spec have yet to be conformed for the UK, but we should expect the i20 N to start around £20,000, which would put it competitively pitched against the Fiesta ST.

    Related: Hyundai reveals all-electric Kona

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    Jim McGill

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