Set to begin deliveries in the coming weeks in both regular hatchback and Fastback bodystyles, from £33,745 and £34,495 respectively, the revised Volkswagen Golf GTI rival has been given updated styling that brings it more closely in line with the recently facelifted regular i30, while greater use of lightweight materials aims to improve agility.
Both i30 N variants retain the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which in the UK is offered only in its most potent, 276bhp form with the Performance Package. For 2021, however, buyers have the option of specifying a new eight-speed dual-clutch (DCT) automatic (£35,695 for the hatchback and £36,445 for the Fastback), complete with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.
The i30 N Performance gets a 5bhp power increase over the outgoing car, along with a torque boost to 289lb ft, allowing for 0-62mph in 5.9sec - 0.2sec faster than the old model. Top speed is still electronically capped at 155mph.
DCT-equipped cars get a new N Grin Shift mode, which provides 20sec of turbocharger overboost and maximum transmission response when activated using a button on the steering wheel. All versions retain the customisable driving modes seen in the original car, including the user-defined N Custom setting that provides greater control over engine, suspension, steering and transmission response, as well as exhaust sound.
Performance models come equipped with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, recieve larger (360mm) front brakes and ride on newly developed 19in alloy wheels and Pirelli P-Zero rubber, which reduce unsprung mass by 14.4kg compared with the standard 18in alloys. The suspension and steering have both been retuned as a result of this weight loss.