Hyundai jumps into the hot hatch world with i30 N

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"The i30 N loves corners".

Other systems and features of note include a five-mode driving selector with racy "N" and "N Custom" settings, adjustable suspension, a stiffening bar behind the rear seats, sports seats and a variable exhaust valve system with an electronic sound generator. The standard tune generates 246 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque while an available Performance Package lifts the power to 271 hp but keeps torque at 260 lb-ft.

The 2.0 litre petrol turbo delivers 247bhp, but there's a performance pack which ups that to a more appealing 271bhp, with the regular i30 hitting 62mph in 6.4 seconds and the Performance pack cutting that to 6.1 seconds.

While the i30 N won't arrive in North America, the hatchback is important as it represents the official launch of Hyundai's "N" performance sub-brand.

The i30 N has also been entered into the Nurburgring 24 Hours twice, to test powertrain components and suspension settings. In N drive mode, the ESC gets disengaged as well. The steering's electrically assisted via a rack-mounted motor.

Hyundai has turned up the heat in the hot hatch segment with its first dedicated performance vehicle.

Of course, the i30 N wears more aggressive styling inside and out compared to the standard i30.

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The press release also makes mention of something called "after-fire sound" when N Mode is selected.

It's not just the styling that has changed.

Other features include a launch control function, rev-matching for faster gearchanges and quicker steering created to make the auto "instantly responsive at lower speeds". How does it drive?

If the i30 N was sold here, it would challenge the VW Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST. Underneath, the rear bumper hangs lower, features sharper contouring and frames a pair of oval exhaust tips. It means that Hyundai's new entrant onto the hot hatch scene outguns the 242bhp Golf GTI Performance pack in terms of sheer power, while the i30 N boasts a performance pack of its own, which turns the wick up to 271bhp. Pricing for the base i30 is expected to target the Golf GTI directly at around $41K, while the Performance Pack is likely to put it in the ballpark of $48K.

Apart from those extras, the Performance Pack also picks up a bi-modal exhaust system as well as more supportive front seats, higher-grade interior trim with leather and suede throughout the cabin and a larger 8.0-inch colour touch screen multi media system with Bluetooth, digital radio, sat nav, smartphone mirroring and specific N performance pages that allows the driver to customise the settings for individual parameters of the vehicle as well as monitor the engine's outputs while on the fly. The rest of the palette features Clean Slate, Polar White, Micron Grey and Phantom Black or Engine Red.

There's no word on price yet, but the i30 N should launch across Europe by the end of 2017.

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