2018 Hyundai i30 N manual only…for now
The Hyundai i30 N is launching in Australia this week with a manual transmission only…an eight-speed DCT is in the works but it won’t be here until 2019. Hmmm.
HYUNDAI’S 202KW hot-hatch, the i30 N is about to hit Australian showrooms, but Gen Y perhaps need not apply.
That’s because there’s no two-pedal option, Hyundai instead electing to fit the turbocharged terror with just a six-speed manual transmission.
Officially, it’s all about maintaining the true spirit of a Euro-inspired hot-hatch, but the reality is that the dual-clutch transmission already found in the i30 SR model won’t handle the almost-400Nm of torque the N model can produce when the overboost function chimes in.
When you consider the take-up rate of two-pedal operation on the Hyundai’s major competitors (namely the Volkswagen Golf GTi) that’s a marketing hurdle.
But there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that Hyundai confirmed to Practical Motoring that there is, indeed, a wet-clutch DCT transmission in development especially for the i30 N.
The bad news is that it won’t be available until probably the end of 2019.
The unit is an eight-speed and the wet-clutch layout ensures it will be a stronger transmission than the dry-clutch versions that have given so many manufacturers (Ford and VW, to name just two) so many reliability and durability headaches.
And while a two-pedal i30 N will open the model up to a vastly bigger potential market, it could also broaden the model’s reach in other ways.
While Australian i30 Ns all feature the higher-powered mechanical package, the slightly softer version sold in other parts of the world could perhaps come on stream in line with the DCT model.
A Hyundai spokesman hinted that the introduction of DCT could be the perfect timing to introduce the lower-powered, more affordable version of the car.
Stay tuned for our first Australian drive of the new i30 N…embargo lifts on 29 March. In the meantime, read Paul Horrell’s first drive.