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If you had any doubt about which vehicle the new Hyundai i30 N has directly in its crosshairs, you can let go of it now. Albert Biermann, the head of the Korean automaker’s new high-performance division, has admitted that the new hot hatch is aimed squarely at the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
“Everybody is chasing the Golf, so we will join this game and see how it goes,” said Biermann, according to Automotive News.
The German, who moved to the Hyundai Group from his position at the helm of BMW’s M division, had earlier hinted that the i30 N had been benchmarked against the Golf GTI, claiming that it would be “more precise” than the popular VW hatchback.
Biermann also revealed to the US publication that the option of a dual-clutch transmission and even all-wheel drive could come later, although there are no confirmed plans for this to happen.
Power comes from a 2,0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine (complete with an overboost function) that Hyundai says delivers 202 kW and 353 N.m in the case of the Performance Package model, delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox with rev-matching. The standard i30 N, meanwhile, makes 184 kW and the same peak torque figure.
Both models top out at 250 km/h, with the standard derivative accelerating from standstill to 100 km/h in a claimed 6,4 seconds and the 202 kW version taking a claimed 6,1 seconds.
So, will it come to South Africa? Well, Hyundai SA last week confirmed to CARmag.co.za that while the local distributor would certainly look at compiling a business case for the i30 N, being able to import it at the right price would be the key.