Hyundai Australia is still considering whether it should bring one or two models of its i30 N hot hatch as it gears up for the launch of its very first serious performance car in the first quarter of next year.
The South Korean brand has the option of bringing in a ‘base model' i30 N in addition to the high-performance variant. The two-tier approach is similar to what its main target, Volkswagen, offers with the Golf GTi and its performance pack.
If the company does go ahead with two variants, this would allow for a price differential that brings a power increase from 184kW to 202kW, suspension upgrades as well as a bigger wheel and brake package, amongst other things. Alternatively, Hyundai could just bring in the top-spec model all on its own.
Although pricing is yet to be confirmed, the base model would allow for much sharper pricing - but the company believes it may end up selling more performance pack models anyway. Speaking to CarAdvice this week, the brand’s public relations manager, Bill Thomas, said no firm decision has been made.
“It’s a decision that is still under review, but there are two trains of thought. First, offering the ‘base’ i30 N gives us a sharp entry price point and a very sweet car for the money,” Thomas said.
“It’s manual transmission only, as per all N cars, but it may appeal to some buyers who don’t necessarily see the value in the extra power and extra equipment offered in the Performance Pack model.
"The second line of thinking is to offer the Performance Pack model only, but perhaps in more than one grade.”
Going with one spec will make the more hardcore version of the i30 N the only choice, which some buyers may deem too track-focused, with its sportier suspension, but Thomas says even the performance pack offers the flexibility of a true daily.
“This car still rides beautifully around town and is quiet and comfortable when the modes are set to their most benign settings. However, it is then transformed into more of a ‘weapon’ when needed, especially on the track.
“We think this car will match its competition for overall ‘fun to drive’ and probably exceed the competition in value-for-money. It might be that if we introduce both, most owners will pick the Performance Pack anyway. But the choice would be there.”
The Hyundai i30 N is more than likely set to upset the hot-hatch segment not just in terms of being the new price leader, but also bringing levels of performance never before seen from the brand.