Facelifted 2020 Hyundai i30 N gets automatic gearbox option

Updated Hyundai i30 N hot hatch has been launched with new styling and lightweight wheels

  • New touchscreen
  • Both manual and automatic gearboxes offered
  • In dealerships before the end of the year

The facelifted Hyundai i30 N hot hatchback has been revealed, bringing styling updates, a new touchscreen and the introduction of an automatic gearbox option. Prices and full specs will be released closer to when the car goes on sale later this year, but you’ll probably need to spend around £30,000.

Hyundai’s first hot hatchback was well received because it was immediately able to go head-to-head with the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Renault Megane RS and the Peugeot 308 GTi. Hyundai’s N division is headed up by Albert Biermann, who was poached from BMW’s sporty M Performance arm.

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Like the new Hyundai i30, the updated i30 N gets sharp LED daytime running lights and tail-light elements, plus a new grille and tweaked bumpers. To show it’s the hot N model, you also get a few red trim inserts, a big roof spoiler and a diffuser between those large twin exhausts. We think the i30 N strikes a good balance between sportiness and subtlety, especially compared to the distinctive Honda Civic Type R.

Inside, the i30 N continues to show its range-topping status with a range of sporty upgrades. New lightweight ‘bucket’ seats trimmed in leather and suede are fitted, providing more support through fast corners than standard seats. There’ll also be a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, aluminium pedals and plenty of red stitching.

Hyundai has also fitted a new-and-improved 10.25-inch touchscreen, which no longer has shortcut buttons on each side, and looks much more modern for it. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the N-specific driving info menu has been redesigned to make it easier to use.

The Hyundai i30 N will continue to use a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine but it’s now only offered in the more powerful Performance guise, which also comes with a limited-slip differential and the bigger exhausts. Power is up 5bhp to 278bhp, edging it ahead of the Ford Focus ST, and there’s more torque lower in the rev range too.

A six-speed manual gearbox will continue to be standard, but a twin-clutch automatic gearbox will be available as an optional extra. Expected to cost roughly £1,500, the DSG auto shouldn’t noticeably reduce performance or fuel economy, and it even offers some exclusive features. Change gear using the paddles, and the ‘N Power Shift’ function will make shifts feel more aggressive under hard acceleration. Press the ‘NGS’ button on the steering wheel, meanwhile, and all the settings are dialled up for 20 seconds for maximum excitement and performance. NGS, incidentally, stands for ‘N Grin Shift’.

See where the Hyundai i30 N features on our list of the best cheap sports cars, or read our guide to the fastest hot hatchbacks currently on sale to compare the i30 N to its rivals.

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