Hyundai throws a well-crafted spanner into the red-hot hatch market with its 271bhp, Nürburgring-developed i30N
Joining the big boys in the hot hatch market is not a decision any ‘new boy’ manufacturer would take lightly. Kudos to Hyundai, then, for even contemplating the idea, let alone going ahead with it in the crisply-folded shape of the i30N Performance.
At 271bhp, it doesn’t have the explosive grunt of Ford’s Focus RS or Honda’s new Civic Type R. On top of that, the stats suggest that the Hyundai is a tad on the heavy side, at around 1500kg.
But you’d never know it was hampered in any way thanks to some very clever chassis trickery. A heap of development work on the notorious Nürburgring track in Germany is meant to have prepared the i30N Performance for a serious workout on the nadgery turns and stomach-churning drops and jumps of Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, arguably the toughest parkland circuit in Britain. And that’s exactly what our man Dan put it through.
Despite the embarrassment of wearing a silly helmet for the benefit of the camera, if not for the benefit of his self-esteem, Dan ended up having a whale of a time in the i30N. Is it a match for the best cars in the class, though? Well… let’s just say you might be surprised.