2021 Hyundai i30 N auto finally arrives in Australia

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Hyundai’s i30N has received some much needed upgrades in the face of fresh competition.

The pocket rocket was the brand’s first performance car and it was an instant hit with Aussie drivers and critics, winning the 2018 News Corp Car of the Year.

Headlining the changes is an automatic option – the current version is manual only – which is sure to give Hyundai a big sales boost as it broadens it appeal.

The two pedal versions are equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch auto with paddle shifters. Manual versions use the same six-speed transmission.

Hyundai has managed to eke out more grunt from its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which now makes 206kW and 392Nm, a rise of 4kW and 39Nm.

This puts the i30 N in the same ballpark as feisty hatches such as the Ford Focus ST and Renault Megane RS.

The tweaked engine has improved the car’s 0-100km/h time to 5.4 seconds, a reduction of seven tenths over the current version.

The improvements don’t come for free, Hyundai has increased the price of the entry-level i30 N manual by about $3000 to $44,500 (plus on-road costs).

Adding the automatic transmission increases the cost by another $3000 to $47,500.

The base models are well equipped, though, with new 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tyres and plenty of performance features such as electronically controlled suspension, multiple drive modes, performance driving data tracking, rev matching and an electronically controlled limited slip differential.

Hyundai has also boosted the vehicle’s safety, adding blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-following tech to its suite of driver aids.

Inside, the car has all the mod-cons expected in this price range, including a new bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Hyundai has also added a wireless device charging pad.

Buyers of the manual version can choose the i30 N Premium version that costs $47,500 and comes with added goodies such as lightweight sport bucket seats that are heated and wrapped in Alcantara and leather appointed upholstery.

Auto buyers can only buy the i30 N Premium with a panoramic sunroof, which will cost them $52,000. Manual buyers wanting the sunroof will be charged $49,000.

The upgraded i30 N will go on sale in July.

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