Hyundai's performance arm is introducing its design to the regular i30 in order to compete with the Ford Focus ST-Line

Hyundai will introduce a new N-Line trim via the i30 this summer as an answer to Ford’s ST-Line and Vauxhall’s recently relaunched GSi.

As the first model to get a proper N performance variant, the i30 will initially be the only Hyundai offered with this sporty N-Line trim.

As shown by a just-spotted test car, it will gain 18in wheels, more aggressive bumpers and red accents, all of which are clearly influenced by the 275bhp i30 N’s design.

Some of the i30 N’s interior features will also be carried over, although its figure-hugging sports seats don’t appear to be fitted to the test car, suggesting N-Line seats will be more closely related to the regular ones.

Hyundai will also give the i30 N-Line a lukewarm chassis tune, fitting between the more forgiving set-up of the regular model and the focused running gear of the i30 N.

Expect very slightly lower suspension with tweaked damper rates to help improve handling, plus the fitting of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, which are less hardcore than the tailor-made Pirelli P Zeros offered with the i30 N.

Hyundai i30 N long-term review

Like the red-blooded N car, the N-Line’s chassis and geometry set-ups will have been honed at the Nürburgring. Hyundai chassis boss Albert Biermann, a former BMW M division engineering boss, oversees this track testing and has pledged to produce engaging cars, suggesting the i30 N-Line be more playful than the class average.

To emphasise its driver-focus, the i30 N-Line is likely to be launched exclusively with regular powertrains. But, like Ford, Hyundai is expected to eventually offer its performance-inspired trim with a wide range of engines. Currently, the i30 comes with 1.0 and 1.4-litre petrol engines, as well as a 1.6-litre diesel.

The i30 Tourer and Fastback bodystyles are also set to be offered with N-Line trim.

Hyundai is eager to tap into the lukewarm segment harboured by ST-Line and GSi cars because of rapid growth in demand for such models. The i30’s main rival, the Ford Focus, sells in ST-Line form more than any other; the bestselling Focus in Britain is the 123bhp 1.0-litre Ecoboost ST-Line with a manual gearbox.

Ford’s top-selling Focus costs from £21,285, so expect the i30 N-Line to be priced to compete with that.

The first examples are due in Hyundai showrooms later this year, following an expected introduction in the summer months.

More content:

Vauxhall Corsa GSi returns as driver-focused VXR replacement

Kia Ceed GT hot hatch due next year with i30 N 'agility and playfulness'

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Comments
4

12 April 2018

I can't see how this makes sense, when all I can see is what will effectively be a lamb in wolf's clothing. It hasn't taken Hyundai long to dilute its newly created N brand, but it seems that today's customers want a performance image without having to pay for it with a high purchase price, high fuel consumption and high insurance costs.

How long before Honda responds with a "Type-R look" Civic 1.0?

12 April 2018

Maybe the 201bhp 1.6 T-GDI would be better for something like this.

12 April 2018

For me a 200'ish bhp manual is plenty for the UK, fast but not stupid or license threating for that matter.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

12 April 2018

Manufacturers keep flogging this "kitted out like a hot hatch but fitted with base spec engine" routine, yet none ever go the opposite route of offering a car with very basic spec but the hot hatch performance stuff, which should balance out at roughly the same price, and I am sure would prove a better compromise for most drivers looking for a sporty car but who are operating on a limited budget.  It must be embarrassing to be driving a car which looks like a fireball but struggles to get past lorries before the next corner, I'd much rather have the standard, unassuming bodystyle if I had the lower-powered engine.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

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