The Hyundai i30 N was quite the industry disruptor when it burst onto the hot hatchback scene in 2017. It combined a highly able chassis and engine with a level of engagement and any-speed entertainment that even in this class is no longer a given. It makes sense then, that Hyundai’s first big update of the N package would peak our interest, the first signs of which can be seen in these spy shots.
The new N should coincide with a wider update of the standard i30 and i30 Fastback models, both of which are due to pick up a substantial aesthetic update in line with the latest generation of Hyundai models globally, as well as a new interior and updated tech.
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Look closely at the car in these images and you’ll see plenty of new details, with a lower, wider frontal section, thin LED headlights and a new set of alloy wheels. The rear is even more heavily disguised, but we can see new exhaust outlets that are bigger than the two found on the current model.
Although a majority of the new i30 N’s technical ingredients are due to stay the same, we can confirm that a new dual-clutch transmission will be available alongside the standard six-speed manual transmission for the first time. Less certain is whether the 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol will gain any extra horsepower, although with rivals from across the class now bettering the Hyundai for outright grunt, even the Performance model’s 271bhp is starting to look a little thin.
Something else a facelift alone can’t really do is solve the current i30 N Performance’s real Achilles heel, namely its chunky 1429kg kerb weight – although this is something that only really gets in the way of progress once you’re really pushing it hard.
Either way, with such a fantastic first effort from the original, expectations are high for this first real update, due in the second quarter of 2020.