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Hyundai i20 N (2021 - 2024) - engine, gearbox and technical highlights

Features an effective and effervescent powertrain that’s a match for contemporary rivals, if not its historic ones

Evo rating
Price
from £25,750
  • A brilliantly executed package that’s a serious threat to the Fiesta ST
  • Ride can be a bit thumpy; engine lacks sparkle

To create the i20’s engine, Hyundai started with one of its basic 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines, giving it an overhaul with a reworked turbocharger and intercooler installation to make 201bhp and 203lb ft of torque. The unit features direct injection and a variable valve duration system, and delivers its peak torque from just 1,750rpm.

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The only gearbox choice is a six-speed manual, with drive passing through a Torsen-style mechanical limited-slip differential that’s standard fit in the UK market. Standard rubber are bespoke N-marked Pirelli P Zero tyres in an 18-inch size.

The i20 N is five-door only, with a shell strengthened at the front subframe, at various weld points and via a brace in the luggage area. The clutch and transmission have been strengthened to cope with the increased loads (and the launch control software), while the chassis sits 40mm lower than a regular i20 with much stiffer springs and firmer dampers, plus reinforced suspension joints.

Hyundai quotes a weight of 1190kg, a scant 3kg more than a Fiesta ST and 90kg down on the admittedly all-wheel-drive GR Yaris

> Toyota GR Yaris review

As with the i30 N, there are driver modes aplenty, but this time they can be accessed by two N paddles mounted low down on the wheel as well as by a driver mode button on the centre console. As well as Eco, Normal and Sport, there is N mode and N Custom 1 and 2, the last two allowing the driver to tailor the car to their taste.

Driver modes are nothing new, but N has shown that it understands how to make them both accessible and easy to configure. The exhaust is valved so there are settings for that, as well as the engine, steering weight and the rev match function (that can be switched off if you’d rather do it yourself). What you won’t find is any setting for the suspension set-up, because the i20 N uses passive damping.

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