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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Facelift Hyundai i30 N unleashed with more poke and eight-speed dual clutch ‘box

Despite having debuted on local shores only this year, the updated i30 N is likely to arrive in South Africa sometime next year.

Three years after making its highly awaited unveiling, and after a short teaser campaign, Hyundai has officially unveiled the updated i30 N with not only a fresh face, but also the much vaunted eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Once again offered as a hatch or a coupe-styled fastback, the N builds on the updates applied to the standard i30 earlier this year by receiving a wider, Sonata inspired grille with N badging, new LED headlights with integrated V-shaped daytime running diodes, revised bumpers with so-called air curtains on the flanks of the front, standard 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres and in the case of the hatch, new LED combination taillights and quad exhaust outlets integrated into the tweaked diffuser.

As part of the optional Performance Package, the N gets newly designed 19-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in specifically made Pirelli PZero tyres that are said to be 14.4 kg lighter than the soon-to-be-outgoing model’s similarly sized wheels. In addition, the Pack comes with red N branded brake calipers with bigger 360 mm discs and dark satin grey matte trim. In total, seven colours are offered; Polar White, Shadow Grey, Phantom Black, Dark Knight, Sunset Red, Engine Red and the N bespoke Performance Blue.

Inside, the interior updates mirrors those of the standard i30, but adds alloy pedals, an analogue instrument cluster, black suede or cloth seats with the fronts being heated, Performance Blue stitching, a heated steering wheel and, as an option, the new, lighter by 2.2 kg N Light front chairs trimmed in leather/Alcantara with Performance Blue stitch work and N badged headrests.

Safety has also been sharpened-up to include Lane Following Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Collision Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Warning on the hatch only and on the dual-clutch model, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist.

As already alluded to, the mentioned ‘box joins the standard six-speed manual on both the standard and Performance models, with its inclusion having resulted in a power uptake for the latter. In standard guise, the N’s 2.0-litre turbo punches out 184kW/353Nm while in Performance form, power rises from 202 kW to 206 kW with torque increasing to 392 Nm. In Performance guise, the N will get from 0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds compared to 6.1 seconds, with top speed remaining unchanged at 250 km/h.

Carte Blanche is however reserved for the dual-clutch which receives three modes; the humours N Grin Shift that unleashes each model’s full output for 20 seconds, N Power Shift that engages once 90% of full throttle of achieved and N Track Sense Shift that activates once conventional road conditions are no longer detected.

Aside from the N keeping its five driving modes; Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom, the latter with four modes of its own; Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport+, Hyundai has also retuned the steering and suspension whilst furnishing the Performance Pack with an electronic limited slip differential.

Sales in Europe officially commences next year with those in South Africa likely to start not long after despite the i30 N having only been introduced earlier this year.

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