New 2021 Hyundai i30 N facelift on sale now from £33,745
The updated Hyundai i30 N gets refreshed styling and an optional eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox for the first time
Launched as the brand’s first N performance, the i30 N has been a huge success for the Korean firm, establishing it as a serious player in the segment and providing it with a credible competitor for the Volkswagen GTI.
The i30 N’s design hasn’t altered drastically over the old car’s. Hyundai has made a few subtle revisions, fitting a wider radiator grille and some fresh LED headlamps, with a new V-shaped lighting signature. There’s also a couple of extra fins on the front bumper, which Hyundai says improves the car’s aerodynamics at high speeds.
At the rear, the hatchback features a new roof-mounted spoiler, which is fitted with the firm’s trademark triangular high-level brake light. The tail-lights are another new addition, as are the larger twin-exit exhaust tips. However, the rear of the Fastback remains unchanged over the outgoing model.
Every i30 N fitted with Hyundai’s Performance Pack, (which is the only version available to UK buyers) now gets new 19-inch forged alloy wheels, which shave 14.4kg off the weight of the car. The wheels are wrapped in high-performance Pirelli P-Zero tyres.
Hyundai’s updates are a little more noticeable inside. There’s a new 10.25-inch infotainment system, which features a redesigned interface for the i30 N’s adjustable driving modes. Now, owners can tweak the engine, exhaust and steering settings on one spiderweb-style graphic rather than having to cycle through menus like before. It’s a similar set-up to the brand’s recently launched i20 N.
The new infotainment screen also brings an improved voice control system and the latest version of Hyundai Bluelink. The latter upgrade adds a host of connected services, such as live parking information, last mile navigation and user profiles for each of the car’s drivers.
Hyundai has also introduced some new N Light Sport Seats as an optional extra. The upgrade costs £600 and swaps the car’s standard chairs for some lightweight bucket seats, which save 2.2kg. They’re trimmed in leather and Alcantara, and feature illuminated N badges on their headrests.
As before, the i30 N is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, but power rises from 273bhp to 278bhp, while torque is up by 39Nm, to a total of 392Nm. A six-speed manual transmission remains the standard set-up, although buyers can specify an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic as an optional extra.
The DCT has several unique features. First up is ‘N Power Shift’, which helps to maintain engine revs during upshifts to reduce the loss of drive torque and improve performance. The second – what Hyundai calls ‘N Grin Shift’ – is accessed via a steering wheel-mounted button labelled ‘NGS’.
Press it and all of the i30 N’s variable parameters are put into their most aggressive setting for 20 seconds. That means increased engine power, faster gear shifts and an overboost function are all activated to deliver an instant hit of performance.
The gearbox also has a function called ‘N Track Shift’, which recognises the driving style by monitoring the driver’s steering, brake and throttle inputs. If it detects a sporty driving style, the system automatically adjusts the gearbox map to a more aggressive setting.
Hyundai says the i30 N’s steering and suspension set-ups have been re-tuned to improve handling and performance, while a new anti-roll bar has been added at the rear to increase rigidity. Buyers also get upgraded brakes with red calipers.
Standard equipment for the i30 N includes privacy glass, black door mirror caps, puddle lighting and a reversing camera. Inside, buyers get black headlining, N-branded treadplates, a heated steering wheel and a wireless smartphone charger.
The i30 N comes with a raft of standard safety kit, including forward collision avoidance, lane assist, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and a new e-call system that can be used in case of emergencies. As with the rest of the Hyundai range, a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty is also standard.