The new Hyundai i30 N has finally passed through our hands. One of the best Hothatch on the market has been able to openly challenge the sacred monsters of the segment, such as Golf GTI and Megane RS.
It is renewed from the aesthetic point of view, new better-finished interiors, small update of the 2.0 4-cylinder turbo engine that now touches 280 HP and 392 Nm of torque, combined with a surprising eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, as an option to the 6-speed manual so dear to purists.
There is no shortage of exhaust barrels that have made it famous, also in this 2022 guise.
2022 Hyundai i30 N Redesign
The New Hyundai i30 N exudes sportiness from every angle thanks to the revised aesthetic pack, with well-made side skirts, splitters, and aerodynamic appendages.
The Full-Led headlights are also renewed, abandoning the circular lenses in favor of a “Y” motif for the LED daytime running lights, also taken up in the rear by new (and beautiful) rear light clusters.
The design of the alloy wheels is also new, 19 ” for the version equipped with the N Performance Package – the only version available for the Italian market – they are forged and boast an overall weight reduction of 14.4 kg compared to the 18″ they come standard in other markets.
Their calipers completed the works in contrast with the N logo, the 360 mm discs, and the Pirelli P Zero tires specifically developed for her.
The impeccable exhaust system in the back is equipped with an electronic valve, a gem that made the first I30 N 2017 great against the more “buttoned-up” rivals.
The integrated black spoiler appears in the upper part, which incorporates the triangular third stoplight in pure rally style. The dimensions do not vary, always 4.34 m in length by 1.80 in width and 1.46 in height.
Interior – Sporty and Plenty of Tech
Soberer and contained the 2022 Hyundai I30 N cockpit, which does not differ much from a more common i30 N line, were it not for the fantastic perforated leather steering wheel and the magnificent N Light sports bucket seats – which allow you to save about 2kg.
The first combines perfect ergonomics with an intelligent layout of the keys to recall the Normal, Sport, or Eco driving modes on the left while the more extreme N or N Custom mode is on the left.
On the other hand, the bucket seats are perfectly containing, lighter, and better finished and integrate the N symbol, which lights up when the car is turned on or off. The effect is truly scenic.
The passenger compartment is still spacious, from a pure C segment, with plenty of room for legs and head, even for the rear passengers, with a wheelbase of 2.65 meters that does not vary compared to the traditional I30. The trunk remains more than roomy, with 395 liters of capacity.
There is no lack of technology, with the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, compatibility with smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the latest version of the Bluelink system.
As for the driver assistance systems, the new Hyundai i30 N has been updated and equipped with the latest version of the SmartSense, going up to the second level.
Among the various goodies of the i30 N, one cannot fail to mention the nice N Mode menu, integrated into the infotainment with which to tailor the car with the N Custom mode.
Personally, I have chosen to keep the engine, transmission, and exhaust parameters in the most aggressive setting, while the steering, suspension, and differential I prefer to keep them softer to better deal with everyday roads.
Under the technical aspect, the most significant upgrade that the new Hyundai i30 N brings is the availability of the automatic transmission DCT dual-clutch 8 reports an oil bath, already present on the Veloster N.
It is a type of transmission that has several modes that make driving more enjoyable. These include, for example, the “N Grin Shift” mode, which increases the maximum torque available from 377 to 392 Nm with the overboost function.
Another mode available with this gearbox is the “N Power Shift,” which is activated automatically, with the accelerator pressed at 90% of the travel, and ensures smoother and faster gear changes.
We really appreciated a change, capable of enhancing its dynamic qualities without much regretting the splendid manual – reserved for purists.
It is a well-made automatic, able to satisfy even a tourist or city guide. The only critical point of the I30 N is equipped with a manual, which has a particularly stiff clutch pedal that could generate annoyances in queues or traffic.
Under The Hood
The New Hyundai i30 N will continue to be powered by the 2.0-liter T-GDi four-cylinder turbo petrol engine that develops 250 hp, possibly reaching 280 hp with the N Performance package (the only version available in Italy).
Thanks to the latter, the maximum torque also rises from 353 to 392 Nm, and the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is reduced to 5.9 seconds. The top speed is 250 km/h in both versions.
Surprising, the update that affected the engine, now able to push better in the upper area of the rev counter.
The first generation, equipped with the manual only, suffered from little high shot, being instead very reactive underneath.
Now the maximum power is delivered at around 5,200 rpm, but a more substantial and linear thrust is felt, almost reaching the limiter, set at 7,200 rpm.
Perhaps thanks to the automatic gearbox or the result of a revision of the turbo petrol unit, the fact is that now it can boast a more regular and well “spread” delivery throughout the rev range.
It appears more energetic than other 2.0 turbos of the same power offered by the competition, accompanied by the surprising exhaust system, capable of enhancing the car’s (already positive) aspect.
Verdict – The best Hothatch on the Market?
A question that I asked myself several times during the two weeks of testing. The answer is probably “yes” because it manages to combine 360-degree exploitation in everyday life with almost unique dynamic qualities in this power segment and this price range.
The front end is incisive, glued to the road, with a slightly swinging rear end capable of widening when the gas is released. You feel it “in your hands.” It is extremely talkative both from the steering wheel and from the chassis.
You understand perfectly what is going on below you and the electronically controlled LSD differential ensures plenty of grips when exiting corners.
When you set N mode, you almost feel like you’re in a special rally stage. It has an ability to involve you in driving that is now difficult to find in the automotive world, so a product of this type is welcome.
The only flaw, the significant consumption of its engine: driving normally, with Eco mode, it is difficult to do better than 9 km per liter.
Starting price of 40,850 euros ($48,263 at current exchange rates) for the version with 280 HP and manual gearbox, while for our example, the price is equipped with automatic gearbox and Shadow Gray paint 43,700 euros ($51,630 at current exchange rates).