Aside from proving the drivetrain is up to scratch, Hyundai prefers to talk fun and smiles, not numbers, and to provide those, its systems are exceptionally complicated. A front-drive hot hatchback like an i20 N is one of the more straightforward performance cars.
Here Hyundai has laid the tech and the drive modes on thick – though I don’t think it’s any worse for it.
Four steering wheel buttons let you select six drive modes (plus the overboost function), two of which are driver customisable. You can pick how angry the motor response, steering weight, damper stiffness, differential locking and stability control sensitivity are, the head-up display layout, and whether you have a synthetic engine noise (from three) or not.
There’s more. With noise on you can choose (or not) to have fake gearshift points. Then there’s an ‘N’ brake pedal that allows various one-pedal driving brake severity up to the point where it’s basically activating the ABS when you lift off. You can change the torque distribution front to rear, plus there’s a ‘drift optimiser’ mode in which to practice low-speed doughnuts and hooning. And a launch control.
Depending on the circuit, Hyundai has achieved a performance aim of allowing 20 minutes hard driving, followed by 20 minutes charging, and 20 mins driving ... repeat and repeat. It won't do that at, say, the Nurburgring, but at less throttle-heavy circuits it has pulled off the trick. Which is impressive going. And Hyundais generally charge quickly and consistently.
See ride and handling for how all this gels together, because honestly it's hard to consider the performance without noting its impact on how it makes the car feel in corners. But know that when the engine note is turned off in a straight-line this acts like most other very fast EVs - it can do 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds. With the fake noises and gearshifts on you could swear you were in an automatic internally combusted car - it gives more engine braking and better acceleration at 'high' revs, for example.