After teasing us the last time around
with only a silhouette of the i20N, Hyundai has now indulged our inner
child by giving us our first glimpse of it in action. In a video
published by the ‘Hyundai N Worldwide’ YouTube channel, the i20N can be
seen testing on a frozen lake in a remote corner of Sweden.
Behind the wheel of this under-development pocket-rocket is Thierry
Neuville, Hyundai’s World Rally Championship (WRC) driver. The
motorsport racer first took the WRC car out for a spin, followed by the
RM19 prototype, before finally getting behind the wheel of a partially
camouflaged i20N version of the upcoming third-gen i20.
The N cars of Hyundai are the more powerful versions of their regular
cars with the N division itself being responsible for churning out their
In Theirry’s words, the i20N is a ‘very easy car to drive’. He said the
electronic systems kept the car in check at all times. The WRC driver
also heaped praise on the revving nature of its engine and called the
sound it emitted, ‘interesting’. He even let slip that he was looking
forward to driving this car in the WRC.
The production version of the i20N could be offered with a 1.6-litre
turbo-petrol motor, making 204PS and 265Nm, that is also found in the
Hyundai Veloster. This will make it the most powerful production-spec
i20 ever. It will give it the firepower to go after popular compact hot
hatches in Europe such as the Ford Fiesta ST, the Volkswagen Polo GTi
(the previous-gen model was on sale in India), and the Toyota GR Yaris.
Close to home, Hyundai is expected to launch the regular third-gen i20 around mid-2020. It will come with a new engine borrowed from the Hyundai Venue. The go-fast i20N has limited chances of making it to India owing to limited takers of performance-oriented hatches. We would still like to keep our fingers crossed.