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Hyundai i20 N spy video confirms manual 'box

Looks (and sounds) like the i20 will be a chip off the old Hyundai N block - it's definitely manual, and definitely noisy...

By Matt Bird / Friday, May 22, 2020

This has to be it now, surely. Following the spy shots, the official testing video and, here, the secret testing clip, we must know everything there is to know about the upcoming Hyundai i20 N ahead of its actual reveal.

Pleasingly, this Nurburgring video confirms much of what we'd hoped for Hyundai's latest hot hatch: specifically, that it has a manual gearbox, and makes a right old racket - jolly good. Even from behind the catch fences at the Nordschleife, the little i20 can be heard making all the sounds you would hope for from a pocket rocket: it pops, it bangs, it fizzes and it growls out of its twin tailpipes. Of course, it'll be augmented to some degree but, quite frankly, we'll take exhaust entertainment in any shape or form in 2020. And this sounds great.

Noticeable in this video, too, are the pronounced pauses in between the Need for Speed Underground tribute act, because the i20 N has a manual gearbox. It was always assumed that would be the case, though wasn't guaranteed; not only had recent entrants to the sector gone without a clutch pedal - think VW Polo GTI and Renault Sport Clio - but the manual had been very much hidden from Hyundai's promotional video, so some suspicion was there. Maybe the new DCT will be offered in the i20 as well; a choice of gearboxes would give it a selling point over rivals like the Fiesta ST. We're still waiting to find out if the i20 will use Hyundai's 1.6- or 2.0-litre turbocharged engines.

Clearly it's unwise to assert much about a car's dynamics from a video. However, it is worth drawing attention to how assured the i20 looks on the approach to Adenauer Forst, a notoriously tricky part of the circuit as you go from one of the fastest sections of track to one of the slowest. It looks composed through the approaching right, and controls dive under braking really nicely. Again, if lessons can be taken (and improved upon) from i30 to i20, then there's cause for optimism. The point where anybody outside of Hyundai gets to find out that for themselves can't be far off now - we're aiming to be first in the queue.

Images: S.Baldauf/S.B.Medien

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