New Hyundai i20 N hot hatch due in 2018

Hyundai i20 N front
3 Jul, 2017 12:00pm John McIlroy

Hyundai will take the fight to the Fiesta ST with a new hot version of its i20 supermini under its own N performance brand

Hyundai is planning an i20 N hot hatchback to rival for the forthcoming next-gen Ford Fiesta ST, the newly launched Polo GTI and the Toyota Yaris GRMN, jumbo-bg can reveal.

The Korean brand’s performance sub-division is about to launch its first product, the i30 N five-door hatchback. And it will follow up that car with two more launches in the next 18 months - the Veloster N (unlikely to be sold in the UK) and a hot version of the style-focused five-door i30 Fastback.

jumbo-bg understands that the priority after those two vehicles is to get a hot i20 to market, helping to support Hyundai’s increasingly successful efforts in the World Rally Championship with the i20 WRC. The director of N, ex-BMW M division man Albert Biermann, is enthusiastic about the idea of fast superminis.

When asked at a recent event in Korea if N could expand its line-up to include cars smaller than the i30, Biermann replied, ““Of course. Why would we limit ourselves to C-segment? There are tons of hot superminis out there - Polo GTI, Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208 and even Toyota now is doing one [Yaris GRMN]. There’s a good market out there.”

The hot i20 will use a tuned version of the car’s 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that’s likely to produce around 200bhp. It’ll be front-wheel drive, and some versions are likely to feature an electronic front differential. Hyundai is likely to take a similar approach with the i20 to the one it is pursuing with i30; the five-door version of the i20 N will be relatively subtle, allowing more extreme styling modifications on the ‘niche’ version of the car, the three-door.

Will the Hyundai i20 N be a serious hot hatch contender? Let us know in the comments section...