The arrival of the hottest Hyundai ever means performance car buyers in Singapore haven’t had things this good in a decade
[Updated with prices and local pictures on 21 Dec 2018, originally published 15 Nov 2018]
Hot on the heels of the sleekest Hyundai (the i30 Fastback, launched in October), another model has been added to the range, and this one is sure to get your pulses racing: the Nurburgring-developed i30 N is now on sale in Singapore.
Having just cleared the homologation process with the Land Transport Authority, local distributor Komoco Motors has quietly added the hottest Hyundai ever to its lineup, at a price of $145,999 with Certificate of Entitlement.
That puts it at the affordable end of the hot hatch scale. Most rivals are more expensive: the Volkswagen Golf GTI ($163,400), Renault Megane RS ($165,999), Honda Civic Type R ($182,999), and Mini John Cooper Works ($178,088). Only the Skoda Octavia RS245 is cheaper ($129,900). All prices are correct at time of publication.
The value proposition doesn’t just end with a great purchase price; ownership costs should be relatively manageable too: the i30 N comes with seven years’ free servicing, and a seven year/200,000km warranty.
The version on sale here is the “base” model. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot puts out 250hp and 353Nm of torque, and does 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds. Standard features include 18-inch wheels, different drive modes including a fully configurable custom setting, and an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto – if you’re still wondering how they work, check out our handy little guide.
Meanwhile, the version you’re likely more familiar with, especially if you’ve been following the international media, is the optional Performance package, which, as of now is sadly not available for Singapore, our guess is because it’ll add too much to the car’s price and dent its overall competitiveness.
The Performance Pack gives more power and torque, at 275hp and 353Nm of torque (378Nm on overboost), and a 0-100km/h time of 6.1 seconds. This also adds 19-inch wheels, an active exhaust system and an electronically-controlled limited slip differential.
Upping the fun factor for petrolheads is stability control that can be fully deactivated, and a six-speed manual gearbox (a dual-clutch unit will be made available eventually). Both variants feature launch control to go with it, shift lights in the instrument cluster, and a rev matching feature that will blip the throttle when you downshift.
Hyundai’s focus with this car was for drivers to “feel the feeling” (their words, not ours), making it more friendly and accessible rather than chase ultimate lap times. Much attention was also paid to the cooling system, so the drivers can keep pounding in the laps during trackdays rather than having to let the car cool down every couple laps.
We’ve done a comprehensive rundown before on what the i30 N is all about – click here to read about all the other juicy details.
The i30 hatch is just the first offering in what Hyundai plans will become a full performance lineup. So far, the only other N models announced are the i30 Fastback and the North America-only Veloster N, although there has been talk in the industry that a Kona N might also be forthcoming.