Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
3 Sep 2015
3:00 pm

Hyundai i20 hatchback gets sporty

Motoring Reporter

The Hyundai i20 hatchback has received a sporty makeover and a power boost, all contained in a new 1.4-litre derivative in the i20 range, which will carry the performance N logo.

The Hyundai i20 hatchback. Picture: Supplied

A number of visual enhancements has been added to create the new i20 1.4 N-Sport, including new 17-inch alloy rims, a Sport Body kit, a stainless steel free-flow CAT back exhaust system and N badges on the front mudguards and rear hatchback door. The Sport Body kit consists of side skirts, front and rear bumper trim finishes to carry through the sporty line from the side skirts, and a rear boot spoiler.

Stiffer springs has not only given the i20 1.4 N-Sport a lower stance on the road, but the suspension tweak is also adding a firmer ride and sporty handling and road holding to the package. The free-flow exhaust system also adds an audible announcement of the added engine power.

“The Hyundai i20 was the perfect model in our range to subject to a sporty makeover. It is a car that appeals to a younger buyer, it has fresh, modern looks and a dashing design, and it already had fine driving characteristics and road manners – something we enhanced a bit more with the tweaking of the suspension, new alloy rims with low profile tyres and increased engine power output,” says Stanley Anderson, marketing director of Hyundai Automotive SA.

The Hyundai i20 hatchback. Picture: Supplied

The Hyundai i20 hatchback. Picture: Supplied

The i20 range – designed at Hyundai Motor Company’s European Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany – was launched in SA earlier this year in three derivatives: The i20 1.2 Motion (manual), the i20 1.4 Fluid (manual), and the i20 Fluid equipped with an automatic four-speed gearbox.

The body shell incorporates a single feature line, running the length of the vehicle just below the windows and connecting at the rear. A waistline moulding at the base of the door creates a sleek profile, which is complemented by the soft, sculptured “undercuts” of the body panels. On the i20 1.4 N-Sport this has been further accentuated by the side skirts and bumper trims.

The purposeful appearance of the i20 is emphasised by its long hood, low roofline and sharp crease line that combine to achieve a streamlined vehicle with an aerodynamic drag figure of 0.34 Cd. The new platform and generous shape of the i20 have been developed using lightweight, high-strength steel to yield stiffer torsional rigidity. The result is an improvement in ride quality, reduction in core weight and gains in damping to mitigate noise, vibration and harshness.

The Hyundai i20 hatchback. Picture: Supplied

The Hyundai i20 hatchback. Picture: Supplied

Throughout the new model, Hyundai engineers have applied technologies aimed at reducing the intrusion of noise and vibration to the cabin. Increased sound absorption at the base of the A-, B- and C-pillars protects occupants from road vibrations, while a high-density anti-noise pad is fitted within the floor pan to limit noise ingress.

The i20 is available with a choice of two Hyundai “Kappa” petrol power plants: A 1 197 cc four-cylinder and a 1 368cc four-cylinder engine, both with four valves per cylinder and Dual Continuous Variable Valve Timing. The price of the i20 N-Sport is R235 500, which includes the Hyundai warranty and roadside assistance for five years or 150 000km and a service plan for three years or 60 000km.