The new Hyundai i30 N looks sharper and shifts quicker

24th September 2020
Ethan Jupp

Hyundai has given the i30N a refresh ready for 2021, three years on from the seminal hot hatch’s launch. At first glance, it’s a facelift in the most literal sense but there are new talking points underneath too, minus a power hike. The hope surely is a retained appeal next to the newly-digitised Volkswagen Golf GTI.


Firstly, the looks. Nothing ages a car these days more than out-of-date lights. Not that the original i30 N is unattractive but the new lights with distinctive V-shaped day-runners are a welcome update. They complement the broadened Hyundai corporate snout – that matches the i20 WRC – and aggressive new intakes. Not for just form, the new bumper improves airflow, with air curtains that reduce turbulence in the wheel arches.

Out back, new lighting and broader exhaust tips are the most distinctive changes. New optional lightweight 19-inch forged alloy wheels are a nice touch.


What else ages cars the most these days? Outdated screens. Now optional is a broader 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. New ‘N Light’ bucket seats join the party for additional weight loss, and a fancy illuminated ‘N’ in the headrest, too.

In between those seats you’d normally find a six-speed manual gearbox in an i30 N. Now it’s being joined by a new optional eight-speed N-DCT dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters, to broaden this very focused hot hatch’s appeal.


The new i30 N is the fastest yet, hitting 62mph in 5.9 seconds or 0.2 seconds faster than the outgoing fastest model. Presumably, that gain is made with the new quick-shifting ‘box, given power figures come unchanged for the update.

i30 Ns still come in two different trims. The standard car, a manual only, has 250PS and 353Nm courtesy of its 2.0 T-GDI engine. The Performance Package boosts that figure to 280PS, and the torque to 392Nm. The high-power spec in combination with the quick-shifting box will get you that aforementioned acceleration time.

It also adds those lightweight 19-inch wheels (18s are standard) which save 14.4kg in unsprung mass over the outgoing 19s. Whether the N Light seats, which save an additional 2.2kg, come as part of the Performance Package is not clear, though we’d like to think so. The new car has re-tuned suspension, and in Performance Pack spec, comes with bigger brakes – up to 360mm at the front from 345mm before


As above the Performance Package gives the option of the new paddle-shift transmission, and also adds the electronic LSD. Let’s talk N Performance functions with interesting names. The addition of the DCT now allows these three: N Grin Shift, N Power Shift and N Track Sense Shift.

N Grin Shift uses accumulated overboost in addition to increased shift response for 20 seconds. The effect is a ‘push feel’ and, presumably, a grin. N Power Shift is automatic, engaging when more than 90 percent of throttle is used, to make the most of the torque curve. N Track Sense Shift is sort of like your own racing driver housed within the transmission, sensing how the car is being driven, even being able to detect if it’s on a track.

The existing ‘N Grin Control’ system with five driving modes come unchanged, with a choice between Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom.

The new i30 N will be available in Europe from early in 2021, with pricing to be announced in the meantime.

  • Hyundai

  • i30

  • i30 N

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