The prototype bears all the hallmarks of a faster and more focused version of the regular i20. There's the usual bigger wheels covering more serious-looking brakes, the ride height has been lowered, and there's a new dual exhaust tailpipe.
Closer inspection of the front bumper also reveals what looks like an intercooler squeezed behind, a classic sign of a substantial power upgrade under the bonnet. Shots of the interior also reveal the same gearshifter as the i30 N, while a body-stiffening strut brace sits behind the rear seats.
Plans for the Korean maker’s N performance sub-brand were first detailed in 2017, before the first production model, the warmly received i30 N, followed at the end of the year. The i30 N Fastback then arrived a year later.
After years of rumours, company sources previously revealed to Autocar that the i20 supermini will be the next N-car, and is likely to be ready for an unveiling by early 2020. Original rumours cited a release for such a car sometime in 2018, but the launch was pushed back down the list of priorities.