Cape Town - Hyundai’s first blue-blooded performance hatch has finally touched down in South Africa, with the local media launch taking place this week, but the big question on everyone’s lips has been the price tag.

According to vehicle information specialist Duoporta, the i30 N will cost R679 900 in SA, which is just R4500 shy of the Volkswagen Golf R, and a good R110 000 more than you’ll pay for a Golf GTI.

Of course, the i30 N will have rarity value on its side and it does appear to have all the makings of a serious track day toy. 

Let’s take a look at how its heart beats.

The i30 N is powered by a 2-litre direct injection turbopetrol engine that thumps out 202kW at 6000rpm, which is roughly halfway between the GTI and R, while torque is listed at 353Nm from 1450 revs, momentarily rising to 378Nm on overboost. 

Oh, and only those that like to drive the good old fashioned way need apply here as the i30 N is only available with a six-speed gearbox. If your snap-changing is up to scratch, the hot hatch will get you from 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds, according to Hyundai, while the top speed is listed at 250km/h. There is a launch control system, however, and it’s also possible to crank up the sound track, thanks to the variable exhaust valve set-up.

Riding on 19-inch alloy wheels, the i30 N is also kitted out with a sports suspension system with adjustable dampers and an electronically controlled limited slip differential. 

Inside the cabin you’ll find unique sports seats upholstered in a leather and suede combo, and all the necessary creature comforts are in place, including dual-zone climate control, a multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, a panoramic roof and a touchscreen infotainment system. Not only does the system have satnav, CarPlay and Android Auto, but it can also record lap times and cornering forces.

The car is sold with a five-year/75 000km service plan as well as a five-year/150 000km warranty, extending to seven years and 200 000km for drivetrain components.

Look out for our driving impressions in next Thursday's Drive360 supplement in The Star and Cape Times.

IOL Motoring