Hyundai is now officially taking orders for its i20 N, with prices for the 204hp Fiesta ST rival starting at almost bang on what we expected: £24,995. That means it leaves the gate at £415 more than an ST-3, although the three-door Hyundai gets lots of standard kit, not to mention the sort of handling and performance that could very well make it the new king of the class.
Happily, everything in the confirmed UK spec is much as it was when we drove (and fell for) Hyundai’s German-plated, left-hooker back in March. To summarise, the 1.6-litre turbocharged T-GDi produces 204hp at 5,500-6,000rpm and 203lb ft from 1,750-4,500rpm, unless you’re in overboost, when it reaches 224lb ft from 2,000-4,000rpm. 62mph arrives in 6.7 seconds, and top speed is 142mph. Drive goes to the front wheels exclusively through a six-speed manual. Cracking.
Now, with UK sales commencing, we know for sure that the car’s P-Zero-shod 18-inch wheels are standard, as is Hyundai’s ‘N Corner Carving Differential’, and the launch control and rev-matching software. The car’s 10.25-inch touchscreen is standard equipment, too, with five drive modes, performance driving data and, of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Hyundai throws in a five-year subscription to its Bluelinks telematics service. Even those part-leather seats, which are heated up front, come in the base spec.
In fact, the only four options for the i20 N are for a Bose Premium sound system, which costs £500, black roof – also £500 – and then specific body paint shades, with the launch car’s Performance Blue costing £550 and each of the available metallic and pearl shades costing the same. At most, a buyer can spend £26,545, which is £3.6k less than the starting price for the i30 N.
Still, with Ford’s Fiesta ST undercutting the Hyundai in both £21,995 ST-2 and more closely aligned ST-3 guises, Hyundai obviously can’t claim to offer the most punch for your pounds in this class. But when it comes to the prospect of a driver’s car with a seriously compelling spec, it'll likely be easy to justify the premium. Especially if the i20 N lives up to expectation when it meets its rival. More on that soon.
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