Hyundai i20 N confirmed for Australia, arrives in 2021

Brett Davis

In what can only be described as awesome news for local hot hatch fans, Hyundai has confirmed the upcoming i20 N will go on sale in Australia next year.

Hyundai Australia hosted an exclusive media presentation this week, confirming some of its upcoming plans and products. And in the mix, the upcoming i20 N. The compact hot hatch hasn’t been revealed yet, but there were fears it might not make it to Australia because the regular i20 isn’t made for our market.

No further specifications have been revealed with the news. As far as we already know though the i20 N will enter the market with its target pointed at the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST, outgoing Renault Clio RS, and VW Polo GTI. It’ll be Hyundai’s first foray in the segment, and only its third proper hot hatch and third model from its recently-formed N division (following the i30 N and Veloster N [not sold in Australia]).

Compiling all of the rumours and reports that we’ve seen so far, we think the i20 N will be powered by a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder engine. It’ll likely be based on the updated 1.6 turbo that debuted with the second-generation Veloster, which produces 150kW and 265Nm (same as before), only now it offers an overboost function that provides 275Nm for short periods.

Hyundai’s N division will likely equip the engine with its own exhaust and maybe even intake system, while some computer tuning might also be in order. One thing that’s almost a given is that the engine will spit out a rubbling and crackling exhaust note – as previewed by prototypes spied testing at the Nurburgring.

The power level could be anywhere from 150kW and upwards, although we’ve heard figures in the region of 168kW and even 172kW. If it is at the higher end of those, it’ll become the most powerful hatch in the class. For example, the Fiesta ST and Polo GTI produce 147kW, while the outgoing Clio RS developed up to 162kW.

As for the transmission, a six-speed manual is all but confirmed to be the standard unit. Hyundai is preparing an eight-speed wet dual-clutch auto for the facelifted i30 N coming next year. And the transmission has already debuted overseas for the facelifted Veloster N, as well as the new Hyundai Motor Group 1.6 turbo hybrid (found in some recent Kia models). But it’s believed the new transmission might not be offered for the i20 N, at least until further down the track. The existing seven-speed dual-clutch auto that’s currently matched up to the 1.6T in the regular Veloster probably won’t be good enough for the hardcore hatch.

In other areas the i20 N is set to follow in the footsteps of the i30 N. Think along the lines of custom suspension, brakes, aero kit for the body, and an enhanced interior with sports seats. A smattering of N logos will no doubt decorate various areas.

Exact timing details haven’t been confirmed as yet. Instead, Hyundai Australia simply says it is locked in for 2021. An international debut is expected later this year.

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