2021 Hyundai i20 N: new hot hatch testing at Nurburgring
25 March 2020 - autocar
Disguised prototypes of Ford Fiesta ST rival now have bodywork of Hyundai's new-generation supermini
The Hyundai N line-up will continue to expand in 2020 with the Kona N crossover and the long-awaited i20 N hot hatch.
Although prototypes for the Ford Fiesta ST challenger have been seen a few times before, this is the first time that Nurburgring test cars have worn a production body from the new-generation i20, which was revealed earlier this year.
Despite heavy body camouflage, the test hack is wearing the trademark features of a performance model, including a wheel design inspired by the bigger i30 N hiding red painted brake callipers, plus revised front and rear bumpers and a twin exhaust outlet.
Expect similarly sporting upgrades to the i20 N's interior, including figure-hugging sports seats, liberal N badging and different trim details.
Powertrain details for the i20 N remain scarce. Some rumours suggest the i30 N's 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine will be detuned and squeezed under the bonnet of the smaller car, but another likely candidate is the Korean brand's widely used 1.6-litre T-GDi motor. This offers 174bhp in the flagship Kona but would need to be boosted to beyond 200bhp in order to ensure its competitiveness with rivals such as the Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI.
As with the i30 N, the hot supermini will continue to be developed at Hyundai's Nürburgring test facility. Expect a bespoke chassis set-up with stiffer springs and dampers, as well as some of the adjustable drive modes offered in its bigger sibling.
Autocar understands that both the Kona N and i20 N will go on sale early next year. Given the typical unveiling a few months prior, we could see both minus the disguise before 2020 is out.