Hyundai’s i30 N gives ‘fun to drive’ new meaning

Hyundai’s i30 N has been enhanced with a new design focused on performance, emotion and statement, and for the first time, the upgraded i30 N will be available with N DCT – an eight-speed dual clutch transmission which offers paddle shifters and enables three new N performance functions for an even sportier driving experience.

New 19-inch forged alloy wheels further reduce the weight, resulting in more agile handling of the i30, while additional high-performance driving features combined with updated safety makes the new i30 N a racetrack capable everyday sports car.

The i30 N was originally developed on the basis of the three N cornerstones: Corner Rascal, Everyday Sports Car and Racetrack Capability. The i30 N stands for “Fun to Drive” and was developed to make the driver’s heartbeat faster when he or she gets behind the wheel. While the i30 N is always ready to be transformed at the push of a button for racetrack driving on the weekend, it is truly an everyday sports car that is suitable for daily commuting in comfort on weekdays.

Instead of focusing on pure numbers, Hyundai Motor has chosen to emphasise driving pleasure and the emotional impact on the driver’s heartbeats per minute (BPM), rather than simply measuring revs per minute (RPM). Several high-performance driving features and a performance-oriented instrument cluster contribute to an all-around sporty experience.

Born in Namyang, honed at the Nürburgring

Hyundai ‘N’ stands for Namyang, Hyundai Motor’s global R&D Centre in Korea, where the idea was born, and for the Nürburgring, home to Hyundai Motor’s European Test Centre, where the N line-up was further developed and tested.

The close connection between Namyang and Nürburgring created the foundation for N, the goal being to deliver driving enjoyment. Symbolising a chicane, the ‘N’ logo embodies this aspect – an agile vehicle that is fun to drive – and represents the ultimate driving experience on winding roads.

The Nürburgring Nordschleife was and continues to be used to hone the N-model’s high-performance technologies. The iconic Nürburgring racetrack is known as one of the world’s most challenging racetracks. With 73 corners and 20,8 km of tarmac, it is also a motorsport complex and home to Hyundai Motor’s own testing centre, operated by the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre

The original Hyundai i30 N underwent extensive testing for racetrack performance and durability. During its development phase, a prototype of the i30 N underwent 10 000 km of driving on the Nordschleife at the Nürburgring circuit for durability testing.

Each component used in the i30 N makes Hyundai Motor’s first high-performance vehicle more agile and dynamic. This is what the Hyundai N line up stands for: the N-badged Hyundai focuses on taking the vehicle beyond its role of being just a means of transportation. It offers the customer the thrill and excitement of driving a high-performance car and becoming one with the car as it moves through corners at speed.

Focused on Fun to Drive

The design is based on true high-performance vehicles and includes Hyundai’s cascading grille at the front, aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers, and a new rear spoiler. According to the principle “form follows function”, the car design enhances aerodynamic and cooling performance. Its operation focuses on the pure connection between the car and the driver. Now, the design has been enhanced to give the new i30 N an even more racetrack-inspired look and improve aerodynamics.

Corner Rascal

The i30 N loves corners. The N logo symbolises a chicane, the ultimate part of the track where the i30 N achieves maximum traction, precision and feeling. The powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged engine delivers up to 206 kW and 392 Nm torque.

The i30 N is aerodynamically designed to reduce lift. This keeps the body firmly on to the road when maximum traction is required. The N Corner Carving Differential, an Electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD), enhances grip and improves maximum cornering speed. For the real enthusiasts, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can be switched off completely for maximum freedom.

Exterior design

The design of the new i30 N, which is produced at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech in Nošovice (HMMC) in the Czech Republic, can be described in three words: performance, emotion, statement. Beyond a styling exercise, the changes made exclusively for the i30 N define its performance. To create the best ratio between the new i30 N’s downforce, drag and aerodynamics for the best possible driving experience, the designers worked in accordance with aerodynamic principles. Every design feature around the car has been developed with a focus on dynamic performance.

At the front, the i30 N maintains its sporty, aggressive appearance through the black bezel of the headlamps. New to this model are enhanced LED headlamps with V-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and V-shaped LED combi lamps at the rear. The N signature can be found on the wide centre grille. Its specific, sharp mesh design reminds the viewer of airplane wings and has been optimised to allow efficient engine cooling.

As the front bumper features the prominent cascading grille, particularly stressed through the red insert, the emotional appearance and strong character of the car are once again highlighted. Fresh air inlets on both sides of the car’s front bumper enhance the brake cooling and aerodynamics. Behind the unique cascading grille, additional air curtains offer further performance by enhancing air flow, reducing turbulence in the wheel housing and cooling the engine more effectively.

The front splitter and the rear wing spoiler create downforce and an excellent aero balance. Meanwhile, the outer bumper corners, dominated by the typical aerodynamic side fins, incorporate the air curtains to significantly improve the airflow.

On the hatchback body type, the triangular third brake light in the glossy black spoiler at the updated rear underline the eye-catching look. It additionally features an updated rear end design with a large wing spoiler with a distinctive N triangular brake light. The spoiler creates downforce and excellent balance, while the rear lamps have also been updated and feature a new LED signature.

Two large exhaust pipes integrated into the lower bumper diffuser complete the image of the pure high-performance i30 N. The new i30 Fastback N, on the other hand, comes with a discrete glossy black spoiler, while the triangular rear fog light is integrated into the middle of the rear bumper.

The form-following function design of the new i30 N makes the car look fast even in standstill. Purposeful and energetic, it is ready to tackle the road and the racetrack.

The new i30 N comes in five exterior colours, including Performance Blue, which is exclusive to Hyundai N models. Because of Hyundai Motor’s motorsport heritage, the unique Performance Blue colouring reflecting the wide-open sky was introduced with the start of its WRC engagement in 2014 and has represented the N line-up ever since.

The other exterior colours are Atlas White; Engine Red; Dark Knight; and Phantom Black.

The i30 N’s Performance Package include newly developed 19-inch forged alloy wheels. The lightweight, optimised, five-double-spoke wheels were designed for minimum unsprang mass and high strength. The new i30 N is the first Hyundai mass production car to come with 19-inch forged wheels.

Together, they are 14,4 kg lighter than the previous 19-inch casted alloy wheels. Their dark satin grey matte finish, contrasting with the N specific red brake callipers with the N logo, underlines the racing spirit of the car. The new i30 N has also been outfitted with high-performance Pirelli P-Zero ultra high-performance Hyundai N tyres. These were developed especially for the i30 N and feature an “HN” mark, which stands for “Hyundai N”, on the rims. The N logo has also been integrated onto the wheel caps.

Interior design

The interior of the new i30 N is focused on connecting the driver with the car at all touch points. The concept is dedicated to the people who truly love cars. The exclusive “N” steering wheel ensures that the driver is in 100% control of all driving performance features directly by hand. On the left side of the steering wheel, drivers can select three standard drive modes: Normal, Sport and Eco. On the right, the driver has direct access to the chequered flag N button for the N mode, or the customised setting which is visible on the N unique cluster.

For better engine control during gear shifting, drivers can activate the Rev matching control system by using the dedicated rev activation button just above the N button. The steering wheel is manufactured with the N unique blue stitching and garnished with an N logo at the bottom. The gear shift also features a unique blue stripe as part of the coherent colour design. On top, the ball-type knob bears the N badge.

The analogue cluster includes features such as the active variable LED red zone, which varies according to engine oil temperature, and the shift timing indicator, which shows the driver the best time to switch gears. Both the rev-counter and the speedometer are distinctively designed in accordance with the N line-up, being surrounded by a blue lightning line. The new i30 N is also equipped with a heated steering wheel and heated front seats.

The new i30 N features sporty, metal pedals and Performance Blue stitching. The interior comes in one-tone Black with artificial suede and leather seats.

Tech and connectivity

The new i30 N offers state-of-the-art connectivity. To empower the driver to become better with every ride, it features a Performance Driving Data System to monitor and improve the driver’s track skills, with updated graphics for even more ease of use. This feature saves and displays driving data, including information on engine power, torque and turbo boost. It also includes a lap and acceleration timer, specially designed for track driving.

The specific N mode screen menu also offers customisable settings for the engine, suspension, steering, differential, transmission Rev matching, exhaust sound and stability control.

The new i30 N comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The i30 N is also fitted with a wireless charging pad.


The recommended retail price of the new Hyundai i30 N DCT is R 749 900 (including VAT).

As part of the standard package, the customer also gets Hyundai’s 7-year / 200 000 km manufacturer warranty; a 5-year / 75 000 km service plan; and roadside assistance for 7 years or 150 000 km.

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