Hyundai hints at i20 N performance hatch to take on Polo GTI
Seoul, South Korea - While most teaser campaigns are blatant about what it is that’s on the way, Hyundai is being cryptic with what is almost certainly the first official preview of the i20 N.
Latched to the end of a promotional video (below) that shows off the all-new i20 hatchback is a short clip showing the silhouette of a version with racier styling, as evidenced by the large roof spoiler, bonnet bulge and chunkier wheels.
This is followed by “To be continued”.
Given the brand elevation achieved by the i30 N, which was recently launched in South Africa, an N-badged version of its smaller sibling is an absolute no brainer, and the striking design of the latest i20 certainly lends itself to a performance derivative.
However, it’s highly unlikely that Hyundai will create a car that targets the hard-core, all-wheel-driven GR Yaris. Instead the Korean carmaker will have its sights on the Polo GTI’s heartland.
It’s not clear exactly what will power the i20 N, but unless Hyundai is working on a new compact engine that we don't yet know about, the logical assumption is that it will use the 1.6-litre turbopetrol motor that powers the Elantra Sport, likely with an output of 150kW or more.
Given the approach taken with the i30 N, a six-speed manual gearbox is practically a given, along with some serious attention to the chassis tuning and the general feel of the car.
What appears to be a mule of the new i20 N, using the body of the previous i20, was spotted lapping the Nurburgring last year, so work in that regard is well under way.