Hyundai’s i30 N hot hatch is set to get a power bump and a high-performance eight-speed automatic before this generation bows out.
A senior executive at the company has also confirmed the Hyundai i30 N has been so successful that it is already working on the next generation.
In the meantime, the current Hyundai i30 N has about three years left to run.
The option of an eight-speed automatic was originally due late this year or early 2020, but now it appears to have been delayed even further, until 2021.
Albert Biermann, former head of BMW M, who is the head of research and development for Hyundai and its performance N division, told CarAdvice at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show overnight: “It’s coming next year. Australia may be early 2021, but we are working on an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission that goes in that car.”
When asked if Australia would get the lightweight limited edition of the Hyundai i30 N offered overseas, Mr Biermann said: “We did a special edition only for Germany and the UK, I don’t know if that goes to Australia, maybe not”.
However, Mr Biermann said the eight-speed auto will transform the performance of the i30 N to a whole new level when the facelifted model (pictured above in disguise) arrives, due some time in 2020.
“When the eight-speed wet double-clutch comes, we will crank a little bit more power out of it,” he said. “When we add the double-clutch transmission that will have a strong impact on the i30 N, because it is not a normal automatic transmission, this is something really special.”
When asked about any further chassis improvements – beyond what was introduced on the i30 N Fastback and what is coming on the updated i30 N hatchback later this year – Mr Biermann said: “I don’t think there is a need to do anything to the chassis”.
The good news for Hyundai i30 N fans – or anyone saving for one – is that the model will continue into the next generation due in about 2023.
“Of course there will be a next (generation) i30 N,” said Mr Biermann. “I cannot tell you when and what it will be, but of course we are working on it (and) on concepts already.”
The executive hinted that the next generation Hyundai i30 N could have hybrid power or some kind of electric assistance.
“You heard a lot about electrification (in the press conference) and if you see what’s going on with electric cars – almost race cars – you can expect a lot of interesting things to come,” said Mr Biermann.
When asked specifically about a hybrid version of the next Hyundai i30 N, Mr Biermann said: “We have all kinds of concepts, and as you know we have everything available at Hyundai: mild hybrid, hybrid, plug-in, battery, fuel cell, so we will figure out something.”