Hyundai has unveiled its latest N Line model, but while the full-bottle i20 N will come to Australia... this one won't.
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The 2021 Hyundai i20 N Line has been unveiled for Europe, as a milder, 'show-over-go' alternative to the upcoming i20 N hot hatch.

As with other European-market N Line models, the Hyundai i20 N Line scores many of the sporty exterior and interior visual upgrades set to feature on the forthcoming i20 N, but without the flagship model’s hardcore chassis and anticipated 150kW 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.

Exterior updates to differentiate the N Line from standard i20 models include a tweaked front bumper with a grey accent strip connecting the updated side intakes, a black, chequered-flag-patterned grille, unique black side skirts, revised lower front splitter and a new set of two-tone, 17-inch alloy wheels.

There’s also a more aggressive rear diffuser with dual exhaust tips and a central, triangular fog light. Four exterior colours are on offer – Phantom Black, Aurora Grey, Polar White and Brass – with a contrasting Phantom Black roof available with the Polar White hue.

Inside, N Line-specific changes include N badges on the sports seats, steering wheel and shifter, red contrast stitching, metallic pedals and red accents on the air vents and door card grab handles.

A wide range of connectivity technologies and active safety features will be offered, with the latter branded under Hyundai’s ‘SmartSense’ suite.

Where the i20 N Line differs most from the upcoming N – which is expected to debut in the coming months – is under the bonnet.

Whereas the i20 performance flagship is tipped to use a version of the Australian-delivered i30 N Line’s 150kW/265Nm, 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, the i20 N Line shares its petrol-only engine lineup with the regular range.

Options consist of a 62kW/118Nm 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder, a 74kW/172Nm 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder (available with or without 48V mild-hybrid technology), and a higher-spec 88kW/200Nm version of the mild-hybrid 1.0-litre engine.

The range-topping option is mated to a choice of six-speed 'intelligent' manual – which uses an electronic module, rather than hydraulics, to release or engage the clutch – or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The three-pedal setup is the quickest transmission of the pair from 0-100km/h, recording a 10.2-second claimed run.

No specific chassis changes for the N Line model have been detailed, with the Korean carmaker merely claiming that 1.0-litre turbocharged models have been “refined in terms of suspension, engine response and exhaust sound for an enhanced driving experience”.

The 2021 Hyundai i20 N Line will go on sale in Europe in 2021. However, Australian buyers will miss out on the model – along with the wider, non-performance i20 range – with Hyundai Australia opting to merely offer the high-performance i20 N Down Under, from the first half of 2021.