Hot new Hyundai i20 N on sale in the UK now from £24,995

Hyundai’s new hot supermini hits the market with an all-inclusive approach to equipment

Order books have opened in the UK for the new Hyundai i20 N - the marque’s first hot supermini and a direct rival for the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI. Prices start from £24,995. 

Hyundai says this new small hot hatch is inspired by the company’s WRC rally car, and that development of this performance version was conceived right at the very beginning of the current-generation supermini’s development process. 

There’s certainly no mistaking the ‘N’ for the standard i20. The i20 N features a wild body kit comprising a deeper front bumper with enlarged air intakes, unique side skirts that wrap around into a reshaped rear bumper with new diffuser. A roof-mounted spoiler, inspired by the WRC car, has also been added.

Red exterior detailing runs along the lower edge of the car’s bodywork, while six different main exterior colours are available: Performance Blue, Polar White, Aurora Grey, Sleek Silver, Brass and Phantom Black. Standard exterior features include LED head and tail lamps as well as 18-inch alloy wheels and red-painted brake calipers.

Hyundai i20 N engine and performance

Power is provided by a new 201bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. Hyundai doesn’t intend to offer a dual-clutch automatic version, unlike in the larger i30 N. The i20 N is said to weigh just 1,190kg - the same as the WRC car - which enables a 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds and top speed of 143mph. 

Peak torque of 275Nm is available from 1,750rpm right across the rev band until 4,500rpm. Hyundai says this new ‘Flat Power’ characteristic of the engine allows for faster responses and improved acceleration.  

The six-speed manual gearbox has been reinforced to cope with the greater amount of power, and this has also allowed Hyundai to fit a launch control function. A mechanical limited slip differential is standard on UK models too, as is a rev matching function enabled by a large red button on the steering wheel.

In total, the i20 N has five driving modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, N and N Custom. These adjust the parameters of the car’s engine response, exhaust noise, steering feel and stability programmes depending on the mode. However, owners can adjust each individual setting to their own taste using the N Custom mode.

Chassis tweaks over the regular i20 include new springs and dampers, increased front camber, uprated brakes that are 40mm larger and retuned electronic power steering. The suspension setup is passive, with no electronic damper control as part of the package. A new front axle and torsion beam rear axle provide higher stiffness, while - Hyundai claims  - also ensuring acceptable ride quality. 

Hyundai says the chassis has also been reinforced at 12 different points to ensure greater agility while driving. The 18-inch wheels are shod in Pirelli P-Zero rubber developed especially for Hyundai’s N models.

i20 N interior and prices

The cabin is largely unchanged over a regular i20, but Hyundai has added a pair of sports seats, aluminium pedals and a sports steering wheel, which sits ahead of a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. A 10.25-inch touchscreen system sits on the centre of the dash and gives access to all of the car’s functions and adjustable driving modes. It supports Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto.

The i20 N also features a vast array of safety systems, such as Forward Collision Assist City, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, Lane Following Assist  and Blind-Spot Collision Warning. 

At £24,995, the i20 N is £3,000 more than the entry-level Ford Fiesta ST in ST-2 specification. However, it’s £415 pricier than the ST-3 model that its level of standard equipment is far more comparable with. 

And indeed, the level of standard kit UK buyers will get on the i20 N is extensive. Everything from the launch control function, mechanical differential, rev matching function, the two interior displays for infotainment and instrumentation, cruise control with speed limiter, a rear view camera with parking sensors, automatic LED headlights, and the large number of driver assistance and safety features are included as standard - as are heated seats and automatic climate control.

Looking at the options list reveals the all-inclusive nature of the i20 N as well. An upgraded Bose sound system is available for £500, but aside from that optional extras only run to Performance Blue paint or another metallic shade for £550 (it comes in Polar White by default), and a two-tone black roof for £500. 

Every UK i20 N is supplied with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty, roadside assistance, and a five-year subscription to Hyundai Bluelink connectivity. 

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