Whether you opt for the regular i30 N or the N Performance in either hatch or Fastback form there’s just one engine and gearbox option. The engine is a 1998cc, turbocharged four-cylinder badged T-GDi, and the gearbox a six-speed manual, which in the Performance sends its power to the front wheels via an electronically controlled limited-slip differential.
In normal specification the 2-litre makes 247bhp at 6000rpm with 260lb ft of torque developed between 1500 and 4000rpm. The Performance gets a power boost to 271bhp at the same 6000rpm, with an identical peak torque figure but produced across a wider spread: 1500-4700rpm.
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Structurally the i30 N is much like any other car in this class, with a steel, five-door monocoque shell and steel panels. In terms of hot hatchbacks its suspension set-up is also common, with MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link rear axle. As part of the N’s improvements, the chassis is stiffened with the use of a brace between the rear suspension towers, as well as additional welding in the shell. Fastback models carry a little more of their weight towards the back of the car, which actually improves the front-to-rear weight balance.
Electronically controlled and adjustable suspension is standard on both models, while the Performance alone gets the electronically controlled limited-slip differential. Changes to the Fastback, including longer bump-stops (from 55mm to 62mm), spring rates reduced by 5 per cent and a slightly thinner front anti-roll bar, will soon be applied across all i30 N models. Performance models also get larger brakes, with 345/314mm front and rear brake discs to the regular car’s 330/300mm rotors.
Likewise, wheels and tyres are also different. The regular i30 N gets 7.5x18-inch wheels with 225/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4s, while the Performance has 8x19-inch wheels wrapped in 235/35 R19 Pirelli P Zeros. Both get electrically assisted power steering with just 2.14 turns lock-to-lock.
Officially the i30 N weighs 1400-1480kg in standard form and 1429-1509kg as the Performance. The Performance Fastback matches the hatch's figures, despite the different bodywork. On evo’s scales a Performance hatch came in at 1477kg, comfortably within that range but certainly no lightweight.