Hyundai’s South African division has earned the honor of launching the first member of the car maker’s long-awaited N sub-brand.
The N sub-brand was created to build sport-focused cars and crossovers but the i20 N is a warm hatch at best. In its most powerful configuration, it uses a 1.4-liter Kappa engine that has been tweaked to make 114 horsepower and 118 lb-ft. of torque. The N boasts 15 additional ponies over the stock i20, but it’s still down on power compared to the similarly-sized, 190-horsepower Volkswagen Polo GTI.
The turbo four is bolted to a six-speed manual transmission that spins the front wheels. The minor bump in power is complemented by a free-flow exhaust line and a model-specific suspension setup that is stiffer and lower.
Outside, the N gets a body kit that includes deeper bumpers on both ends, side skirts, and a roof-mounted spoiler. A large exhaust outlet and 17-inch alloy wheels wrap up the sporty look while emphasizing the lower stance.
The Hyundai i20 N will go on sale across South Africa in the coming weeks with a base price of 235,500 Rand, a sum that converts to roughly $18,000. At the time of writing Hyundai has not revealed if the hatchback will be sold in other markets around the globe, but we expect to learn more about what the future holds for the N sub-brand next month in Frankfurt.