Hyundai has been on an absolute roll in recent years and the i20 N looks good enough to give the Ford Fiesta ST a fright.
Unveiled last month and tested here in prototype guise, the Hyundai i20 N follows in the footsteps of the i30 N and features a 1.6-liter turbocharged GDi engine coupled to a six-speed manual transmission powering the front wheels.
All up, the new hot hatch has 201 HP and 202 lb-ft (275 Nm) of torque and can hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.7 seconds and continue through to a 143 mph (230 km/h) top speed.
While there are other Hyundai models rocking the same basic 1.6-liter engine, the i20 N’s unit includes a bespoke turbocharger and intercooler system. It also features Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology and revs through to 6,500 rpm.
Much like the i30 N, the i20 N is focused primarily on handling, not necessarily straight-line performance. As such, it includes a mechanical limited-slip differential. Hyundai has also reinforced the chassis at 12 different points, including the front domes and knuckles. There is also a new sway bar, underbody bracing, custom springs, and new shock absorbers.
During Autocar’s review of a pre-production example still covered under camouflage, the presenter says that his favorite compact hot hatch is the Ford Fiesta ST and adds that the i20 N drives in a similarly driver-focused manner. He adds that the damping feels a little softer on the road than the Fiesta ST, not that that is a bad thing.