Top Gear’s review of the new Hyundai i20 N hot hatchback features a driving test that is largely accomplished on just three of the vehicle’s four wheels, accomplished with the aid of a firm tune and a very committed limited-slip front differential.
I do not want to dwell on too many of the fun details of the 2021 Hyundai i20 N before warning everybody up front that the car is for the European market only. It isn’t coming to the U.S., at least in this form, as far as we know.
It’s smaller than the Veloster N hatchback we do get stateside, and it comes with quite a different bit of kit. It’s really a shame we don’t get a taste of its impressive capability in any sort of car at the moment, especially considering it rivals the Ford Fiesta. Ford stopped selling the Fiesta in America with the latest generation, cutting it for no good reason. It still sells a hot ST version in Europe, though, and that’s the one that Hyundai wants to take down.
The i20 N gets 201 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder powering the front wheels. Hyundai claims it’s capable of a top speed of 143 mph and can get from 0 to 62 mph in 6.7 seconds. The model weighs 1,190 kilograms, roughly 2,623 pounds, and in addition to a manual gearbox includes performance features like a limited-slip differential, quicker steering ratio over the standard car and a lower and stiffer suspension setup (that isn’t individually adjustable).
It’s those final features that likely lead to the car riding through corners on three wheels, the limited slip differential helping the front tires grip and drag the hatchback around a road like a reliable Reliant Robin. See it for yourself in this Top Gear review: