Just months from launch, Hyundai has released the first official video of the production version of its i30 N hot hatchback undergoing cold weather testing in Arjeplog, Sweden. Driven by the company’s World Rally Championship driver Thierry Neuville, the car is seen executing many, many exciting and skiddy manoeuvres on a frozen lake. As fun as it looks Hyundai, however, insists the purpose of this test was to “develop and tune the car’s dynamic systems”. With temperatures dipping as low as a brutal -30 degrees Celsius, the Electronic Stability Control, the steering, shocks, Limited Slip Differential, suspension and tyres get a thorough workout.
The i30 N is the company’s first foray into the world of hot hatchbacks and Neuville’s job was to provide feedback to the engineers and help aid the final set-up of the car. He says, “The engineers have done a great job on the gearbox and the differential. There is good traction and good stability in the slippery testing conditions. And it’s very easy to handle. A normal driver should get a sensation similar to that of a racing car.” But then he would because he works for Hyundai.
Aiming straight at the hot hatch king the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the i30 N is expected to develop about 220 horsepower, with performance figures not dissimilar to the said VW. Touted to be an accessible high performance car “creating maximum driving enjoyment on the road and on the track”, the i30 N is shaping up to be a proper driver’s car, unlike the all show and depressingly small amount of go Veloster Turbo.
According to Alexander Eichler, head, High-Performance Vehicle Test and Development, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre, the key target with the i30 N is “to ensure driving enjoyment.” Noble thoughts, indeed.
The ‘N’ logo, curiously, symbolises a chicane, which isn’t a bad start either.
While there’s still time until we can confirm that all this chatter has actually resulted in some concrete achievement, for now hit the play button and enjoy the video.