Hyundai is already putting the i30 N DCT through its paces in Australia.

The Korean brand’s upcoming i30 N equipped with the new dual-clutch transmission has been spied testing in Sydney as part of its local evaluation program, before the high-performance hatch is launched early next year.

The original launch date for the two-pedal Hyundai i30 N was meant to be the end of 2019, which means the 2021 arrival represents a delay of more than 12 months.

Regardless, an automatic is finally within touching distance for Hyundai, giving it the tools to properly take on the dual-clutch Volkswagen Golf GTI and Renault Megane RS.

Despite the lack of an automatic, hot-hatch fans have still made the manual-only i30N a popular car, both in the configuration that launched in 2018 and the updated car with a retuned suspension that followed in 2019.

Seen here in Fastback form, the i30 N DCT is likely being evaluated by Hyundai engineers for Australian conditions – a part of the regular pre-production process for the majority of Hyundai vehicles sold locally.

Australia continues to play a big role in the development of N vehicles on the global stage, with local engineers travelling regularly to the Nurburgring to help develop Hyundai’s next-generation performance products under the guidance of ex-BMW M boss Albert Biermann.

Those with a keen eye will notice the updated i30 N for 2021 will get bigger exhaust tips from the Veloster N (not available in our market), and also sport a newer wheel design.

As you may be able to hear in the video, the Hyundai i30 N’s rapid-fire dual-clutch transmission doesn’t sound as loud as the manual. Don’t worry, we’re led to believe that’s due to this particular prototype vehicle (likely sourced from Europe) being fitted with a petrol particulate filter that limits its engine noise and exhaust crackles.

We suspect Australian models will not be fitted with the emissions-limiting filter, given it’s not a requirement for our market.

The dual-clutch transmission will debut as part of the 2021 model year update for the i30 N, but it’s unclear if there will be a boost for the current 2.0-litre engine, which makes 202kW and 353Nm – up to 378Nm on overboost.

MORE: All the new cars coming for Hyundai

Alborz Fallah

Alborz is the founder of CarAdvice (sold to Nine and now Drive) and co-founder of CarExpert. He is an honourary adjunct professor & entrepreneur in residence at the University of QLD. He loves naturally-aspirated V8s, V10s and V12s and is in denial about the impending death of the internal combustion engine.

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