It’s 2018 and Hyundai is successfully establishing itself in the world of spicy hatches.
Walking up to it you already know: this red i30 N isn’t your typical Asian hatch, add the hype surrounding it and you can understand why I was quite eager to drive this car. Hyundai was eager to lend out their hatch, could they be so confident about it? Or maybe they’re just stupid enough to trust us? Probably the last one.
You must have heard the story about the BMW guy switching to Hyundai
to get their sub-brand- of the ground? Well, this car is the first result of this German-Asian
marriage and on paper it looks avarage/good. A 2-liter pushes out 275HP and 353 Nm onto the road via a fat 235 tires. It has an equally impressive set-up in terms handling, boasting McPherson struts up front and adaptive dampers all round.
It’s almost like the brand has been building cars like this for years. Hell, the i30N even has a proper sports button on the wheel, nice short shifter, easy-to-use launch control and ours had an LSD!!! Damn them.
But what’s written above doesn’t describe what this car is. And sadly, it’s disappointing in a way I didn’t expect it to be. This car handles so well that you simply can’t utilize the excellent handling set-up Hyundai has managed to create with this car. Thoughts like this normally pop up when driving something exotic, but with those cars you know what you’re getting into. Hot hatches normally feel like they were designed for the road, the i30 N doesn’t as it’s literally designed for (and on) the Nürburgring. A shame? Maybe, but my neighborhood will be a lot safer with this car being back at Hyundai. I kept hunting for the limit of its grip, or under/oversteer. I couldn’t find them.
I envy those who commute on curvy roads and I envy them even more when they do it with an Hyundai i30 N