For a sub-£28,000 hot hatchback to record a 0-60mph sprint that’s closer to six seconds than it is to seven should produce exactly the sort of reaction from regular buyers of fast front-drivers that Hyundai was hoping for.
On a greasy track, our test car averaged 6.4sec from rest to 60mph, while clearly struggling for the traction necessary to use full power in either first or second gear.
On a perfect day and after a perfect start, we wouldn’t rule out shaving several tenths off that showing, although we’d be surprised to see the car go under 6.0sec.
It’s bafflingly rare to see launch control fitted to the powerful, front-driven, manual-transmission hot hatchbacks on which it’d be of more help than on almost any other kind of performance car, but it does appear on the i30 N.
Unfortunately, although it works fairly well, our quickest runs were recorded with the traction and stability aids completely disabled – and they were produced in only a fairly hit-and-miss fashion.
That’s because Hyundai’s engine for this car may have plenty of torque but it’s delivered in a bit of a sudden rush of boost in the middle of the rev range.
It’s very difficult to moderate in the lower gears and can easily disrupt the driven axle’s hold on even dry tarmac if you inadvertently use that little bit too much accelerator.