All-new hot hatch from Hyundai brings 150kW punch to Ford Fiesta ST and VW Polo GTI rivals.

Described as the South Korean manufacturer’s hot hatch based on its successful World Rally Championship car, the i20 N will land in Australia next year under keen interest from enthusiasts.

Getting straight to the meat of the equation, the i20 N is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol four-pot that’s not available in any other i20 model – not that the run-of-the-mill i20 is sold in Australia anyway. It produces 150kW – up on the Fiesta ST by 2kW – and 275Nm – down 25Nm on the ST. The only transmission is a six-speed manual and it is capable of 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds.

The new engine uses an uprated turbocharger and intercooler and a 350 bar fuel injection system, plus Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology. Weighing just 119kg, the i20 N claims a power-to-weight ration of 126kW per tonne, compared with 116kW per tonne for Fiesta ST.

Rev-matching provides smoother downshifts and launch control features as well as an optional mechanical limited-slip differential – by first reports it appears to be a fierce competitor, too. The chassis has been tuned for sporty and track day driving, with calibrated steering, suspension and larger front brakes (up by 40mm). Also expect full customisable driving modes like in the Hyundai i30 N, which control steering, throttle, exhaust sound, and more.

Styling is distinctly N division, a redesigned bumper with larger intakes, red-accented lip spoiler, N badging, red detailing and large faux rear diffuser. At the rear, there’s also a single-exit exhaust and roof spoiler.  Inside, new sports seats with integrated headrests are an upgrade, with N badging on the steering wheel, gear shift and pedals. 

Hyundai Australia has confirmed the new model will launch down under Q1-Q2 2021, and we expect pricing to be announced closer to then. At a guess, it should be near $30,000 to compete directly with the Ford Fiesta ST.


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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