Hyundai’s N performance brand is growing, though its lineup is still a bit light here in the U.S. Across the pond, Hyundai has updated two versions of the i30 N for the UK that we should’ve gotten in the U.S. years ago.
In the UK, buyers have a choice of three N models: the subcompact i20 N, and the i30 N hatchback and fastback. The U.S. market received the i30 as the Elantra GT, but we never got the N version — just an N-Line version with a stiffer suspension and a different front fascia, but the same 201-horsepower I4 as the standard Elantra GT. We never got the i30 fastback.
Both i30 versions have now been given a refresh along with increased power ratings.
Front facias on both vehicles have been updated with wider grills and air intakes. There are also updated headlights with V-shaped LED DRLs. For some reason, Hyundai decided not to update the rear of the i30 fastback, so it’s carried over.
Both models also get newly designed 19-inch wheels in a dark satin-matte finish. Those ride on Pirelli P-Zero tires. Hyundai says that they were specifically designed for the i30 N.
Inside there’s a new 10.5-inch touchscreen that can be used with the N’s exclusive Performance Driving Data System. There is also the new option of N Light Sport Seats. Covered in leather and Alcantara they have contrasting stitching colored in N’s hue of blue called Performance Blue. Apparently, there’s an illuminated N logo in the headrests as well.
The real news is under the hood, though. The 2.0-liter turbo four produces 276 HP and 289 lb-ft of torque. Those are gains of five HP and 29 lb-ft over the pre-facelift versions. The six-speed manual transmission is carried over, but the refresh has the i30 N gaining the eight-speed DCT recently introduced in the Veloster N.
While the Veloster N starts at $32,250 here in the U.S., the i30 N is pricey in the UK, starting at £33,745 for the hatch and £34,495 for the fastback. At current exchange rates, that translates to $40,907 for the hatch and $41,816 for the fastback.
That’s a pretty big jump over the Veloster N for what are essentially the same cars. We probably won’t get these two N models in the U.S., so let’s hope the coming Kona N and Elantra N are good enough to make us realize we didn’t need them to begin with.