Hyundai is banking on a reasonable take up of the stick shift by enthusiast drivers before an auto option is available in around two years, according to Hyundai Australia Senior Manager Product Planning, Andrew Tuitahi.
“We’ve got an eight-speed wet dual-clutch gearbox being developed in-house as we speak," he said. "But we’re new to this segment, and if we’re going to deliver a genuine hot hatch, it has to be a manual first up”.
Hyundai’s head of performance development and high performance vehicles, Albert Biermann, elaborated further telling CarAdvice, “We’ve already had our dual-clutch transmission in the Kia Sorento Diesel, as well as the 380bhp version of the N car (RN30 Concept) with all-wheel drive, and the shifting is fast and smooth, as if it were an automatic 'box.
“The all-new transmission will also be used across Hyundai and Kia ranges, so we are highly motivated to get it right before going into mass production”, he added.
In the meantime, the manual gearbox is the same unit from the standard i30, but with a few tweaks. The shift mapping has been modified for more precise shifts and there’s a heavy-duty clutch for better durability.
Hyundai also chose to go in-house for the i30 N’s braking system too, rather than follow the usual path of using Italian brake specialist, Brembo.
“It’s not a sophisticated braking system you might expect from a high-performance hatch, rather, we’ve taken an off-the-shelf system and modified it for brake feel, while using different pads matched to the car’s character, Biermann said.
“Everything is on-balance; brakes, gearbox, how it handles, the powertrain – it has to have some harmony”, he added.