Can we prove that Hyundai’s new performance hatchback delivers a thrilling on-track driving experience? Cue the science…
The Hyundai i30 N has been designed to deliver a driving experience that is engaging and fun on the road, and absolutely thrilling when you’ve got the no-holds-barred expanse of a race track to play with.
But what does that actually mean behind the wheel? Can we prove that the i30 N – which was declared a Game Changer in the 2018 Autocar Awards – delivers a driving experience that delights to the Nth degree? The only way to answer that is with a bit of science. Which is why we took the i30 N, a group of PistonHeads hot-hatch enthusiasts and a sports scientist to the tight, twisty Anglesey Circuit in North Wales.
Our task: to measure the physiological effect of driving the i30 N, and explain how every press of the throttle excites body and mind – a case of finding out if RPM truly does raise BPM. The results were impressive. Our PistonHeaders’ heart-rates doubled – sometimes topping 160bpm – and their verdict on the i30 N was just as breathless.
To learn more about the Hyundai i30 N, head to: hyundai.co.uk/new-cars/i30n
Developed on the track
With a 2.0-litre turbo engine that delivers up to 275PS and 353Nm of torque, in-car adjustable Electronically Controlled Suspension, and an advanced Electronic Limited Slip Differential that was specially engineered by Hyundai for N Performance models, there’s lots of conversation-worthy tech under the i30 N’s eye-catchingly sleek skin.
On-track testing was key to the i30 N’s development. It was born at Namyang, Hyundai’s R&D facility in South Korea, and honed at the Nürbrurgring, with over 420 laps of the 13-mile Nordschleife – the equivalent of 110,000 miles of severe driving in just four weeks.
In 2016, the i30 N competed in the Nurburgring 24 Hours – one of the world’s toughest endurance races – and it has since gone on to win races in the 2017 TCR International Series and the TCR Trophy Europe. “From the first lap, the i30 N was easy to drive on the limit,” said Swiss touring car ace Alain Menu.
Delivering the fun factor
Inside the i30 N, there are lots of track-friendly features that add the fun factor. A five-LED shift indicator lets you know the best times to change gear, while the active variable exhaust on N Performance trims lets you experience the full range of crackles and pops from the twin-pipe exhaust. There’s even a track-focused launch control feature for optimum 0-60mph times.
Rev-matching helps ensure smoother, more efficient downshifts without the need to heel-and-toe, while all elements of the i30 N – including suspension stiffness, throttle response, stability control and steering weight – can be adjusted with five drive modes, ranging from Eco, Normal and Sport for on-road driving, to N and the fully customisable N Custom for the track.
All added together – and given the ultimate test by our PistonHeads hot hatch fans and a bit of human science – we’d like to think we’ve proved that the i30 N truly delivers fun to the Nth degree.