Try it, Hyundai i20 N: the sporty compact that knows how to have fun

Try it, Hyundai i20 N: the sporty compact that knows how to have fun

Try it, Hyundai i20 N

Unveiled in October 2020, following the i30 N and Kona N, the smaller i20 N is a compact B-segment body that aims to challenge the much-loved Fiesta ST. Voted “Performance Car of the Year” and subsequently “Car of the Year” by the prestigious Top Gear magazine last year, will the Korean hot hatch be able to convince us like the other models in Hyundai's N sports division?

Compared to the standard i20 the measures differ in the least and practically follow that of the N Line variant: 407 cm in length, 177 cm in width for a 258 cm wheelbase. The boot space is also identical: 352 liters in the basic configuration, which increases to 1,165 liters with the second row of seats folded down. The aesthetic is renewed, now integrating sharper lines and sharp edges; aspects that are easy to find even on the i30 N (here our test), albeit to a lesser extent. Numerous contrasting details and 18 "wheels with only one design available, now traditionally, are present, so as to minimize the choices made by the buyer. There are seven colors available in the configuration phase, including the inevitable Performance Blue. Among the most noteworthy aesthetic aspects, it is impossible not to mention the important wing installed on the rear area which, despite its size, integrates perfectly with the style of the i20 N.

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The engine, known as GAMMA II, is a 1.6 4-cylinder turbo with 204 horsepower and 275 Nm of torque (already available at 1,750 rpm; in overboost mode, it reaches 304 Nm and manages to cover 0-100 in just 6.7 seconds thanks to the extremely low weight in the order of 1,200 kg. The gearbox is obviously a six-speed manual, with reinforced clutch to support, without repercussions, the dry changes that a car of this type it could suffer. Interesting is the "rev matching" mode, the red button embedded in the steering wheel, which allows you to enable the automatic shotgun. However simple it may be, we assure you that this function is extremely satisfying and you will hardly disengage it.

| "); } While the dimensions are almost identical to those of the more civil i20, the frame is completely different: on the i20 N there are 12 reinforcement points, which increase torsional rigidity, new strut bars, anti-roll bars and a tailor-made structure . The Korean engineers have not limited themselves to this, but have also provided a mechanical limited slip differential that allows you to download the 204 horses almost perfectly, both when cornering and in launch control mode.

How does it behave on the road? The thrust of the engine is constant and continues to have its say up to 6,000 rpm, ensuring prolonged fun. The boost of the turbo is inserted around 3,500 rpm, but unlike the Kona N and i30 N it is “less present” in terms of melody. In any case, to make your ride more enjoyable, the exhaust will take care of it, which gives you unlimited bursts and hums with every shift. We will be repetitive, but the work performed by Hyundai in this context is absolutely incredible: in an era full of restrictions, OPF and FAP, the Korean manufacturer always manages to integrate exhausts (with valve) capable of giving strong emotions.

Although the gearbox represents, in our opinion, one of the best manual gearboxes tested so far, we believe that the gears are too long, betraying, in fact, the "rally" soul that the car tries to share. In any case, it is an overflying aspect, on mountain roads and in mixed roads, driving pleasure is absolutely guaranteed.

Consumption is astonishing which, with the engine in Eco mode, is around 15 km / l on average; a value which, however, in N mode and with a sportier driving tend to be drastically reduced and positioned around 9-10 km / l. Driving with the "knife between the teeth", it is not too difficult to reach 7 km / l. These numbers are largely predictable considering the soul and configuration of the engine.

In terms of interiors there are no particular differences compared to the basic variants; As usual, Hyundai has prepared a pair of sportier and more enveloping seats for the front passengers and installed a more racetrack steering wheel, characterized by the classic blue N buttons. Habitability on board is good even if the space is limited and the "track" set-up makes transfers uncomfortable if you are not a fan of the genre. The finishes are good even if we believe that the internal plastics, especially those of the opaque dashboard, are a little too hard compared to what the car's list price is. The leather insert on the door side is appreciable, an element absent in the non-N version. Among the new features, it is worth noting the automatic emergency braking, the lane keeping system and the rear view camera with the oncoming traffic alarm (really useful!).

Like all modern cars, the Kona N also benefits from Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; unfortunately they are only available in the wired variant although there is a wireless charging area that appears almost in contrast with the choice of on-board infotainment.

Hyundai i20 N has a base price of around 28 thousand euros, a figure that can rise up to 31 thousand euros by selecting the contrasting roof (400 euros), the Dragon Red paint (650 euros) and the 10.25 ”navigation system with telematic services and BOSE system (1,400 euros).

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