Hot hatch alert – 2021 Hyundai i20 N spotted: Price, specs, and release date
The 2021 Hyundai i20 N's production doesn't look to be too far away after it was spotted testing in Spain and on the Nürburgring.
Hyundai certainly looks to be gearing up for the reveal of what will be its next high-performance N model, with its upcoming hardcore i20 N having just been spotted undergoing testing in a variety of places under the disguise of a full camouflage wrap.
Not only has it been snapped undergoing testing on the roads of Spain in early March, but the first test mule wearing a production i20 body has been spotted hanging around the Nürburgring as well.
2021 Hyundai i20 N price and release date
Although the 2021 Hyundai i20 N is yet to make its official debut or to even be officially confirmed by Hyundai, such a model would provide the perfect connection between the company's showroom models and motorsport endeavours given the company's efforts surrounding its i20 WRC campaign.
The less-disguised test mule spotted taking on 'The Green Hell' – which, it should be noted, is likely the same car spotted in Spain if the number plate is anything to go by – all but proves that this will be a true N version of the i20, as the N the company has adopted for its highest-performing models stands for both Namyang, Hyundai's global R&D Centre in South Korea, and the Nürburgring.
Given the i20 N would be pitched as a rival to other hot superminis such as the Ford Fiesta ST, Volkswagen Polo GTI, and upcoming Toyota GR Yaris, we expect it'll cost somewhere around the £20,000 mark, undercutting the premium Polo but slightly more than the three-pot Fiesta.
Word on the street currently is that the i20 N will likely go on sale in early 2021, with a long-rumoured hot crossover in the form of the Kona N likely to appear in showrooms around the same time as well. There's a good chance you can expect to see both new N models undisguised by at least the end of 2020.
2021 Hyundai i20 N specs
Powertrain details regarding the 2021 Hyundai i20 N still remain scarce, but much of the current speculation indicates that when it does finally arrive, it could well feature a version the company's familiar 201bhp (150kW) 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can be found under the bonnet of various Hyundai and Kia models around the world, including the Veloster, i30, Elantra, and Ceed/Cerato GT.
However, it would be reasonable to expect Hyundai's N division to tweak this engine somewhat to give it either a bit more power or at least more aggressive throttle mapping and revised power and torque curves. Being a Hyundai N product, you can no doubt expect a raucous exhaust to be fitted to it, too, of course.
Worth noting is that if Hyundai does opt to go with this 1.6 T-GDi unit, it's currently available with both a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in its current applications, and given the other models from Hyundai's N division – the i30 N and Veloster N – are currently manual-only propositions, you can surely expect to see the i20 N feature a manual 'box as well. Enthusiasts, rejoice!
On the topic of the i30 N and Veloster N though, some rumours have suggested that a detuned version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine fitted to them – which, depending on where you are, is available in both 247bhp (184kW) and 271bhp (202kW) tunes – may feature instead. Given the figures its chief rivals offer up, however, the 1.6-litre engine would perhaps seem more fitting.
It's more than likely that it'll feature a limited-slip differential at the front, as does the i30 N and Veloster N, to help keep everything in check, while other upgrades to cope with the added performance would likely include some fairly serious brakes and adaptive sports suspension, along with a range of adjustable drive modes to configure everything just how you'd like.
Expect to see plenty of unique interior and exterior appointments as well, including plenty of N badging and some highlights in 'performance blue' – the N division's signature colour – with big wheels, a big wing, and an aggressive body kit to round out the package, of course.
Screenshot: Hyundai Österreich on YouTube
2021 Hyundai i20 N teaser video
At the end of the video below from Hyundai Austria promoting the regular 2020 i20 range, a shadowy silhouette of a distinctly sportier model with some obviously blurred out features such as the rear spoiler appears, followed by the message "To be continued..." which could well be our first glimpse at what the 2021 Hyundai i20 N might look like.
Although there's a chance this could just be an N-Line variant with a sporty body-kit but little in the way of additional motivation under the bonnet, it's more likely this could well be the full-fat i20 N judging by the size and design of the wheels, the chunky roof spoiler, and of course the red pinstripe along the side skirt.
Now, let us know in the comments...
Are you excited to see the 2021 Hyundai i20 N hit the market to take on the likes of the Fiesta ST, Polo GTI, and GR Yaris?