Car News

5 things you need to know about the Hyundai i30 N

The 202kW i30 N has launched in Australia and takes aim at the Golf GTI. These are the 5 things you need to know about the Hyundai i30 N.

This is the first model from Hyundai’s ‘N’ division

The N stands for ‘Namyang’ which is where Hyundai’s global R&D centre is located and it’s where all N models are birthed. But the N could also stand for Nurburgring, because once the vehicles leave Namyang they’re sent to Hyundai’s test centre at the Nurburgring in Germany which is one of the world’s longest and most demanding racing circuits – 21km long and 73 corners.

But the N is also drawn from a ‘chicane’. “The N logo resembles a winding road or a section of road that curves continuously,” Hyundai says. “N places primary importance on the excitement of driving, which comes from a well-balanced performance during sustained periods of repeated acceleration, cornering and braking.”

Hyundai claims it launched the N brand because its customers were asking it for a vehicle that could cope with daily driving and handle a pounding on the race track. Indeed, Hyundai’s standard five-year, unlimited kilometre applies to non-competition track use and covers the fitment of track-oriented tyres.

Tuned for Australian roads

While the Hyundai i30 N was originally intended to get just one global specification, Hyundai Australia pushed to extend its local tuning program to the i30 N. More than that, Australia also formed part of the hot weather durability program.

“Australia’s extreme climate, unique roads and challenging driving conditions became a focal point of global pre-production testing,” said Andrew Tuitahi, Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s Senior Product Planning Manager and lead test driver.

“Hot weather durability testing was carried out in Australia over the summer of 2016-17 as part of i30 N’s global development programme, with a number of mechanical and electronic systems verified. This is a car that is very familiar with our country already.”

“Our counterparts in Korea and Germany endowed i30 N with incredible dynamic ability and a playful character that very clearly positioned it as a class-leading hot hatch. We fully supported the plan to have one global state of tune, a tune that was forged on the Nürburgring Nordschliefe and surrounding roads, but Australia’s unique conditions forced us to reconsider that position.

“The goal was to introduce a little more suppleness into the way the car moves, to better cope with jagged pot-holes, square edges, and continuous rolling bumps, while retaining the car’s core character,” said Tuitahi. “It is softer than the European tune, has a little more body roll, but maintains absolute control in all conditions.

“Across three separate tuning sessions – two based out of our Nürburgring Technical Centre, and one here in Australia – we designed, built and tested eleven different front dampers and nine rear dampers. They’re also complemented by a bespoke Australian logic tune for the electronic control.”

“The suspension setup for Australian-delivered i30 Ns has been verified on the Green Hell and approved.”

Priced to compete…

The Hyundai i30 N has clearly been priced to scare the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and VW has made no secret of the fact it thinks the i30 N lacks the pedigree of the GTI. As we reported earlier in the week, the i30 N is only available in one specification, i30 N Performance with six-speed manual only, globally there’s a less-power i30 N available. Locally, pricing starts at $39,990+ORC. Extra cost options, include Metallic Paint $495; Luxury Pack $3000; and Luxury Pack with Panoramic Sunroof $5000.

While you can get a three-door Golf GTI Original from $37,490+ORC the equivalent Golf GTI (five-door) is priced from $41,490+ORC and runs a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol making 169kW and 350Nm of torque. This is a way off the i30 N and while VW boss, Michael Bartsch said, “Extraordinary claims are being made for supposed rivals that are not yet on sale. While any skunkworks can turn out a track day special, the expertise and experience required to engineer a GTI or an R – cars that also excel in the real world – is rather more hard won”.

But, as you will have read, it seems as if Hyundai was listening, hence the local tuning program which sounds like it’ll have softened the thing and made it more usable in the real world.

Built for road and track

Hyundai has already said it’s extending its five-year, unlimited kilometre to include track day use (non-competition) which is a unique offering. More than that, the warranty also covers owners who fit track-oriented rubber to their i30 Ns.

Powering the i30 N is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making 202kW at 6000rpm and 353Nm of torque from 1450-4700rpm, overboost takes peak torque to 378Nm from 1750-4200rpm and that overboost will last for around 18 seconds. Power gets to the road via the front wheels only through a six-speed manual transmission (0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds); as we’ve been told, an eight-speed DCT is in the works but it’s unlikely to arrive here until 2019, at which time Hyundai will likely introduce the less-power i30 N.

Hyundai claims the i30 N was involved in more than 10,000km of testing on the Nürburgring Nordschliefe and the brand has also competed in a number of racing events to test the durability of the i30 N. There’s plenty of additional chassis bracing over the i30 SR and those planning on track driving their car can also install a removable body-stiffening bar that can be fitted behind the rear seats. The i30 N sits 8mm lower than the standard i30 and rides on 19-inch alloys wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber.

There are five different driving modes, including Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom settings, which can be selected by using two dedicated buttons on the steering wheel.

The different modes change the character of the car, adjusting the high-performance parameters of the engine, the dampers, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electronic Limited Slip Differential (E-LSD), exhaust sound, steering feel and rev-matching.

The driver can use the rev-matching button on the steering wheel to turn rev-matching on or off, a function which automatically blips the throttle when shifting from a higher to a lower gear, matching engine speed to road speed, and helping to stabilise the car under braking.


Drive Mode Button

N Button




N Mode

N Custom

Powertrain Settings

Engine response






Rev Matching






Electro-Mechanical Limited Slip Differential (E-LSD)






Active Variable Exhaust sound





(with crackle)


Chassis Settings

Electronic Controlled Suspension (ECS)












Electronic Stability Control (ESC)






What about safety and features?

The i30 N gets a version of Hyundai’s SmartSense safety package, including:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB): Operates in three stages using camera sensors. The first stage is a visual and audible driver warning. The second stage controls braking in accordance with the collision danger and the third stage applies maximum braking force to avoid a collision or minimise damage if a collision is unavoidable. (Note: pedestrian recognition is not currently available for i30 N)
  • Driver Attention Alert (DAA): Monitors driving patterns and detects reckless or fatigued driving to prevent potential accidents.
  • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS): Senses the car’s position and alerts drivers to movements toward the lane edges at speeds above 60km/h with audible and visual warnings given before initiating steering corrections to guide the car.

It’s likely the i30 N will carry the standard i30’s five-star ANCAP safety rating. It also features a reversing camera, full suite of airbags for driver and passenger, although to get things like rain-sensing wipers (standard on the i30 SR) you’ll need to pay for the Luxury Pack.

Options Packs

Luxury Pack


– Front park assist system

– Front passenger seat cushion extension

– LED courtesy & puddle lights

– Power front seats – 12-way

– Power folding exterior mirrors

– Electro-chromatic interior mirror

– Rain sensing wipers

– Heated front seats/steering wheel

– Solar control windscreen glass

– Luggage net

– Driver’s seat memory system

– Smart key & push button start

– Sport front seats with suede inserts and leather bolsters*

– Wireless charging pad (Qi)

– Rear privacy glass

Luxury Pack with Panoramic Sunroof

– All Luxury Pack features

– Panoramic glass sunroof


i30 N Performance – Key Specifications


N performance features

SmartSense™ including;

– Active variable exhaust

– Autonomous Emergency Braking

– Electronic Controlled Suspension

– Driver Attention Alert

– Electronic sound generator

– Forward Collision Warning

– Electro-mechanical LSD

– Lane Keeping Assist System

– Launch control

7 airbags

– N Drive Mode System

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

– N race computer

Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)

– Overboost function

Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)

– Performance brake package

Auto dusk sensing headlights

– Rear stiffness bar

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

– Rev matching function

Rear park assist system

N exterior styling enhancements

Rear view camera

– 19” alloy wheels

LED daytime running lights (DRL)

– Pirelli P-Zero HN tyres

LED headlights and front indicators

– Front & rear bumpers

LED side repeaters in mirrors

– Front grille

LED tail lights

– Gloss black exterior mirrors

Temporary space saver spare wheel

– Headlights

8” satellite navigation system

– Rear spoiler with brake light

DAB+ digital radio

– Side skirts

Apple CarPlay compatibility

N sports interior

Android Auto compatibility

– Alloy sports pedals

Bluetooth connectivity

– Black headlining

Cruise control

– N Dark Metal painted trim inserts

Dual zone climate control

– Performance Blue stitching

Driver’s seat cushion extension

– Sports front seats

Driver’s seat 4-way power lumbar

– Leather appointed steering wheel

Height adjustable front seats

– 4.2” TFT colour Supervision cluster

Tilt & telescopic steering column

Front & rear power windows;

Luggage power outlet

– One touch auto up/down windows

Rear seat centre fold-down armrest

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

Very strong effort from Hyundai and will shake the market up. However, I’d only interested in the DCT version and I’m only interested in an awd version. Their is almost no tuning potential in a fwd car, already the 200kW would be about the limit you want. Look at the Golf R vs GTi, the R can make well over 300kW. If I weren’t going to modify the car, the i30N would be my choice any day over a Golf GTi.

In 2020 however we are getting a hybrid awd Subaru WRX STi, and that’s what I’m eagerly waiting for.

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober