Local hot hatch fans are salivating after photographs of a handful of Hyundai i30 N vehicles docked at Durban port hit social media (see embedded post below), leading to rumours the hot hatch’s local introduction is imminent. But the South African arm of the Korean automaker has confirmed to CARmag.co.za these units do not belong to it.
A Hyundai Automotive SA spokesperson said that while the brand was “aware” of the images, it had not imported the vehicles itself. The spokesperson furthermore confirmed the units were not in the country for homologation purposes.
The local distributor for Hyundai reiterated that while it was constantly reviewing the business case to bring in both the standard i30 hatchback range and the high-performance i30 N, South Africa’s current weak exchange rate meant the project was “on ice”. In short, Hyundai SA said it would import the i30 N only if and when it was able to offer the hot hatch at a “competitive price”.
So, who owns the right-hand-drive i30 N units seen in the photographs? Well, one theory suggests they were simply stopping in Durban on the way to Mozambique. And this seems the most plausible explanation, since the Mozambique arm is run separately from Hyundai Automotive SA (which also covers Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland).
Revealed back in July 2017, the Hyundai i30 N employs a 2,0-litre turbocharged engine worth up to 202 kW (with the Performance Package specified) and 353 N.m, with drive sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.