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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Hyundai’s WRC inspired Polo GTI rivalling i20 N officially unleashed

The familiar 1.6 T-GDI engine pumps out 150 kW but will propel the i20 N from 0-100 km/h in a claimed 6.7 seconds.

Partially unveiled earlier this month, Hyundai has now completely revealed the all-new i20 N as its smallest and latest performance N badged model.

Aimed at the likes of the Volkswagen Polo GTI and the road-going versions of its World Rally Championship (WRC) adversaries, the Ford Fiesta ST and Toyota GR Yaris, the i20 N is motivated by the familiar 1.6 T-GDI petrol engine that sends 150kW/275Nm to the front wheels, initially, via a rev-matching six-speed manual gearbox. An eight-speed dual-clutch, like that of the facelift i30 N, is expected to be offered at a later stage.

Equipped with launch control and riding as standard on 18-inch alloy wheel wrapped in Pirelli PZero rubber, the 1 190 kg i20 N will get from 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds and top out at 230 km/h with Hyundai claiming a power peak of between 5 500 and 6 000 rpm and torque of as low as 1 750 rpm to as high as 4 500 rpm.

Despite featuring the same power output as less sporting models powered by the same engine, the i20 N benefits from a new turbocharger and intercooler, with additional changes underneath its skin consisting of a Torsen mechanical limited slip differential, upgraded brakes with red N calipers, a reinforced chassis, revised suspension and steering, new springs and shock absorbers as well as a retuned electric motor driven power steering and new sway bar.

Like the i30 N, the i20 N has had its Electronic Stability Control system adapted with a choice of three settings; on, Sport and Off, while the N mode drive selector has been added with five settings of its own; Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom with an additional Sport+ being selectable in N Custom.

Incorporating elements said to have been picked-up from its WRC exploits, visual difference from the conventional i20 includes a new front bumper, N badged grille and larger air intake to compensate for the turbo, a Tomato Red detailing on the front lip spoiler and door sills, a faux diffuser integrated into the new rear bumper with Tomato Red detailing, a single exhaust outlet and a bootlid mounted wing that is claimed to aid downforce.

Inside, the N theme extends to the steering wheel with the dual N paddles, the bespoke sport seats, gear knob and alloy wheels, Performance Blue detailing and a black headliner.

Available in a choice of six colours; Brass, Polar White, Phantom Black, Intense Blue, Sleek Silver and Performance Blue with all but the former having the option of a Phantom Black roof, the i20 N will arrive on European dealership floors next year with pricing, as well as South African market availability, unknown at this stage.

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