Hyundai's pocket rocket is here: The i20 N!
Fast and how!
Fasten your seatbelts as we are going on a drive in the i20. I am sure many of you would be ready to lampoon the driver who would say such a buffoon-like thing. It is no hot hatch at the end of the day. However, he soon starts the engine which wakes up with a sporty snarl filling you with apprehension whether it really is an i20. And then, the drive starts. The car goes past the line like a juggernaut with you stuck to the comfy seats vigilantly clasping a handle and fastening your seatbelt apologising to the driver for not obeying his instruction. You have one question making you feel nauseated. How can an i20 be so swift?
Well, fathom it right away that you're in the i20 N, the most brutal and in your face i20 that could be unforgiving if blinked your eyes only once but at the same time, pure orgasm and music to the ears for one who drives a car for unexpurgated temptation of driving and was on the lookout for a pocket hot hatch. It has been teased by Hyundai recently.
Meant for the rarefied community, it comes as a potential rival to the Ford Fiesta ST and the VW Polo GTI, two of the most cherished cars in the segment. It goes down the turbocharging route as Hyundai seems to be democratising its turbo powertrains and brings serves the platter with some really pulchritudinal looks. But that is just the appetizer. Ready for the main dish?
The car makes use of a 1.6-litre turbocharged popper that churns out a healthy 201 hp and 203 lb-ft (275 Nm) of peak torque. Fancy it now? The big surprise is that the smallest of the N models which includes the i10 N and maybe the i20 N will be offered with a single 6-speed manual transmission. Hyundai will also provide the i20 N with a limited slip differential varying from market to market. This bantamweight car weighs just 1,200 kg. All the power, torque and its weight advantage will aid it in accelerating from a standstill to 100 Km/h in just 6.7 seconds (claimed) and run out of steam at 230 Km/h. With great power, comes great responsibility of coming to a halt as soon as possible. Hence, the car uses 320 mm front discs to ensure fast retardation of motion.
The car gets racy bits that justify its track prowess such as a blue paint livery contrasting with black on the roof. The wing mirrors, air intakes and the grille, all haven't been able to elude from the ubiquitous bandwagon of getting darkened by the glossy black shade. There's red trimming on the front splitter and side skirts to emphasise its strong identity. There is a profusion of cuts and creases on the body to flank muscularity. The car also gets larger exhaust tips for turning others fraught with anxiety. To evoke a charisma of its own, the i20 N gets N sobriquet on the brake callipers. What I personally adore is the boot mounted spoiler which is imperative for its purpose.
The i20 N is poised to take on its competition fiercely. The standard model seen this year is striking to say the least and with the N variant, Hyundai has made doughty leaps forward. It wouldn't be easy to give its American and German contention, a run for their money but the car strikes the right chord between design, interior creature comforts and performance. Looking at it as a turnkey package, I think it will find intrepid takers. I just hope Hyundai doesn't restrict it to specific markets.