Hyundai unveils new i20 N, set to be the ultimate corner rascal

HYUNDAI has revealed its latest high performance model, the i20 N, a racetrack capable hot hatch inspired by the i20 WRC rally car, and offering a fun to drive experience thanks to its exclusive engine performance and dynamic technology innovations.

The latest model joins the i30 N and i30 Fastback N among Hyundai’s high-performance line-up in Europe and Australia to satisfy performance-oriented enthusiasts. The i20 N has its roots in motor sport.

It is inspired by the i20 Coupe WRC, a rally car based on a highly modified version of the road-going Hyundai i20, and thus has the same weight as the minimum weight required in FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

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The model has led Hyundai to success, in 2019, Hyundai was crowned the WRC manufacturers’ champion after securing four wins during the season. To date, Hyundai has scored a total of 17 wins at the highest level of international rally competition.

The i20 N presents an uncompromising and powerful look to match its undiluted high performance experience.

The exterior design of the model emphasises its high performance nature by combining elements of Hyundai’s rallying heritage with the company’s latest Sensuous Sportiness design identity, which creates an emotional appeal for drivers.

It adds aerodynamically functional forms to the sporty and dynamic styling of its base model, the class-leading Hyundai i20, such as a 10mm lower ground clearance. The front is dominated by the front bumper with a larger air intake for the turbo engine.

The wide radiator grille with N logo features a unique pattern inspired by a chequered flag, underlining the i20 N’s racetrack capability. Below the grille, a lip spoiler featuring Tomato Red accents further enhances the model’s performance-oriented design.

This colour extends to the new side skirt and the rear, emphasising its width. Meanwhile, unique side sills reinforce the link between the front and rear of the car.

At the rear, a distinctive WRC-inspired roof spoiler enhances downforce and underscores the aerodynamic nature of the i20 N so that it is fun to drive on any road and helps maintain stability even at high speeds.

A rear bumper with built-in diffuser-like elements and triangular rear fog light echo the iconic light shape found on the i30 N and i30 Fastback N. In addition, a big single exhaust emphasises the high-performance potential of the engine.

Other design highlights include front LED headlamps, while the darkened tail lamps resemble a black diamond. The i20 N’s sporty credentials are further accentuated by its bespoke 18 inch alloy wheels with a grey matte finish and N-branded brake calipers.

The i20 N comes in six exterior colours including the N signature Performance Blue livery, which is exclusive to Hyundai N models, and an optional Phantom Black roof for a two-tone style. Additional Tomato Red accents further emphasise Hyundai’s motorsport DNA.

Inside, the i20 N represents a high performance driving space with a host of N-specific advanced and high-tech premium features.

This includes dedicated sport seats with an integrated headrest that are unique to the i20 N, as well as N steering wheel and N gear knob and sporty N metal pedals. The black interior features Performance Blue accents throughout and all black head lining.

The digital cluster and multimedia screen include features such as the variable LED red zone, which varies according to engine oil temperature, and the shift-timing indicator, which shows the driver the best time to switch gears.

Powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged GDi engine with a six speed manual transmission (6MT), it delivers a maximum output of 150kW and a maximum torque of 275Nm for ultimate power delivery.

With 1,190kg of weight, the power-to-weight ratio is one of the best in class. The i20 N delivers a maximum speed of 230km/h, and can go from 0-100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds.

Meanwhile, the 6MT has been refined and reinforced especially for the i20 N to cope with higher RPM, torque and Launch Control to give its drivers a dynamically immersive driving experience.

The i20 N can also be equipped with the N Corner Carving Differential, a mechanical limited slip differential (mLSD) that utilises a mechanically controlled Torsion gear type to control the power transfer to the front wheels.

It provides optimum traction and enhances grip on every corner for a sportier and more agile ride. The i20 N is also equipped with Hyundai SmartSense Advanced Drivers Assistance System features and complies with the highest European safety standards.

This includes features such as forward collision assist city/interurban/pedestrian, intelligent speed limit assist, lane following assist and blind spot collision Warning (BCW).

It also features a performance driving data system to monitor and improve the driver’s track skills. This feature saves and displays driving data, including information on power, torque, turbo boost. It also comes with a lap and acceleration timer.

Featuring an optional 10.25-inch LCD touchscreen navigation system with dedicated N content, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, the i20 N will launch locally in the first half of 2021.

The Australian model line-up, pricing and specification will be announced closer to launch.

Hyundai unveils new i20 N, set to be the ultimate corner rascal
2021 Hyundai i20 N interior (overseas model shown)
Mick Glenn
Mick Glenn
Mick is a car fanatic, with petrol pumping through his veins. With a deep love for cars, and what makes them tick, Mick likes things that go fast, very fast. But he also appreciates a Sunday cruise in the Rolls...... who are we kidding, he'd drive the wheels off that too.


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