Typical. You wait years for a new rally homologation special, and then two come along at once. Hot on the heels of Toyota's fierce little Yaris GR comes this, the Hyundai i20 N - smaller brother to the excellent i30 N and distantly related to Hyundai's super-fast rally weapon.
Turbo 1.6 engine and a slippy diff
According to Hyundai: "As with other Hyundai N models, the all-new Hyundai i20 N offers exclusive engine performance and dynamic technology innovations to satisfy performance-oriented enthusiasts. The latest model joins the i30 N and i30 Fastback N among Hyundai's high-performance line-up in Europe."
The tech spec is pretty mouth-watering - 202hp and 275Nm from a turbo 1.6-litre engine. Front-drive, not four-wheel drive like the Yaris, but with a limited slip differential between those front wheels. A six-speed manual gearbox (with a rev-matching system for slick downshifts) because manual never dies as long as we keep it in our hearts, right folks? CO2 emissions are estimated to be 158g/km with fuel economy in and around the 6.5 litres per 100km mark, but it hasn't been through the WLTP test yet.
0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds
Hyundai reckons it'll hit 100km/h in 6.7 seconds, and will have a top speed of in and around 230km/h. The bodyshell has been significantly strengthened compared to the regular i20, with extra welding and even a strut-brace that runs behind the rear seats. The front brakes have grown to 320mm whoppers, and the i20 N gets sticky Pirelli P Zero tyres. Yes, that's P Zeroes on a small Hyundai hatchback. We're through the looking glass here, people...
In style terms, it gets a larger air intake for the turbo engine and brake cooling. At the side, there are bespoke 18-inch wheels with a grey matte finish and N-branded brake callipers, as well as unique side sills. A big rear spoiler tops off the rear. You can have it in Hyundai's distinctive 'Performance Blue' paint and can have a contrast black roof, too.
As with all Hyundai N models, the i20 N has had its handing honed at the Nurburgring and will have benefited from the deft engineering touch of Albert Biermann, head of the N brand's engineering, and a former BMW M chief engineer. Hyundai says that the i20 N will be: "fun to drive on any road and in all weather conditions."
It's not yet confirmed for the Irish market, but if it does make it here, expect a price tag in the ballpark of €30,000 to allow it to compete with the Fiesta ST.