As the first model to get a proper N performance variant, the i30 will also be the first Hyundai to be offered with this sporty N-Line trim. It will be part of the manufacturer's plans to expand its go-faster N division.
Recent images of an i30 N-Line prototype spied testing indicate that it will have 18in wheels, more aggressive bumpers than standard i30s and red accents, all of which are influenced by the design of the i30 N.
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 give the i30 N-Line a mildly uprated chassis tune. It will fit between the set-up of the regular model and the more focused i30 N. Expect slightly lowered suspension with tweaked damper rates to help improve handling, plus the fitment of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, which are less performance-oriented than the Pirelli P Zeros offered on the i30 N.
Like the red-blooded i30 N, the N-Line’s chassis and geometry set-ups have been honed at the Nürburgring. Hyundai's head of testing and high-performance development, Albert Biermann, oversees this track work and has pledged to produce engaging cars, suggesting the i30 N-Line be more playful than the hatchback class average.
Like Ford, Hyundai is expected to eventually offer its new performance-inspired trim in conjunction with a wide range of engines. Currently, the standard i30 is offered with 1.0 and 1.4-litre petrol engines, as well as a 1.6-litre diesel.
Hyundai is eager to tap into the warm hatch segment inhabited by the 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 best-selling Focus derivative 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 introduction later in the summer.