A lot of petrol heads or driving enthusiasts already know what we are about to explain. For everyone else, let us take you through this aspect of Hyundai, which you probably are not aware of. In India, Hyundai is the second-largest car manufacturer and has products in almost every segment. But there is one segment that is not very popular in India, although we have had a few products in that segment over the years; The hot-hatch or the performance hatchback segment. This essentially means that a regular hatchback is transformed into a driving intensive machine with the help of small-capacity petrol engines with turbochargers and other mechanical tweaks.
We have had products like the Abarth Punto, Polo GTI and Baleno RS but these were not well received by the customers. But Hyundai is trying to bring the trend back with small turbocharged petrol products like the Grand i10 Nios Turbo. Internationally, however, Hyundai already is a reputed and respected player in this segment, primarily because of its products like the Veloster N and i20 N. The N at the end signifies the rally DNA of the brand and Hyundai wants to bring that experience to a wide variety of customers around the world. To start this trend in India, Hyundai is planning to bring the i20 N based on the current-gen i20. Let us talk about what to expect.
Hyundai i20 N – Exterior and Interior
The critical thing to mention here is that the i20 N that Hyundai plans to bring to India is the 120hp version of the i20 and not the full-blown performance version with 200hp. Although, if certain reports are to be believed, Hyundai might try to bring that powerful super hot-hatch to India under 2,500 imports rule and try to assess the demand for it. But we have to contend with the 120hp version of the i20 N for now. The exterior of this car will be based on the regular all-new i20 save for a few changes on the exterior with plenty of N badges and other sporty elements to distinguish it from the regular hatch. We can expect a new colour theme dedicated to this variant as well. Bumpers, side and rear profiles will be tweaked just to make it look sportier. Similarly, the interiors will also be adjusted accordingly to give the driver a sporty feel in accordance with the theme of a hot-hatch. This could include red accents and inserts on the interiors and seats along what a sporty digital instrument cluster.
Hyundai i20 N – Engine, mechanical changes and expected prices
When it comes to engine options, the regular i20 N will come with a powerful 1.0-litre turbo petrol making 120hp and 172Nm and can come mated with the 7-speed DCT transmission for quick responses and fast gearshifts. There might also be a few mechanical changes to improve the driving dynamics of the car. This might include a stiffer suspension setup for better handling, an exhaust note to make it sound sporty and better-calibrated steering and braking. These might seem like small changes, but they can make a lot of difference to the way the i20 N will drive. We expect the prices to be a little higher than the regular i20 around the Rs 12 lakh range once it is launched in mid-2021.