Hyundai’s updated hot hatch has gone official, with sharp new looks, a dual-clutch transmission, and an expanded range of safety assists.

    Peak power in the range-topping i30 N Performance is up to 206kW, and peak torque is up 39Nm to 392Nm for 2021. That boosted torque peak is available between 1950 and 4600rpm, and peak power arrives at 5200rpm.

    Meanwhile, the non-Performance Package outputs 184kW and 353Nm, and won’t be available with the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Currently, only the N Performance Package is available in Australia.

    Hyundai says the 100km/h sprint is dispatched in just 5.9 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 seconds compared to the outgoing i30 N Performance.

    Also new for 2021 is the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, dubbed N DCT by Hyundai. It’s a wet-clutch unit, which Hyundai says makes it capable of handling higher torque outputs and temperatures. It should also help make the i30 N DCT a friendlier beast at low speeds.

    There are two catchily-named features on board to up the appeal of Hyundai’s new dual-clutch unit. The first is dubbed N Grin Shift, which enables 20 seconds of overboost and sharpens up gearshifts for extra, well, grin factor.

    The second is N Power Shift, which automatically kicks in when the throttle is depressed beyond 90 per cent. It’s designed to minimise torque reduction on flat-out upshifts, essentially slamming them home harder and faster than in normal driving.

    It’s worth bearing in mind, a number of carmakers program their dual-clutch transmissions to shift harder and faster in Sport Mode, which sounds very similar to what Hyundai is promising.

    Unlike its predecessor, which lacked the same active safety systems offered elsewhere in the Hyundai range, the 2021 i30 N will have autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane following assist, blind-spot collision avoidance, and rear cross-traffic alert with AEB.

    Externally, the i30 N Performance benefits from a makeover that follows in the footsteps of the wider i30 line-up. That means it wears sharper lighting details, a more aggressive front bumper, and the rear has a more pronounced diffuser with larger exhaust pipes.

    A set of forged 19-inch alloy wheels is optional, while the front brakes have been boosted from 345mm to 360mm in diameter.

    Inside, the i30 N benefits from a larger 10.25-inch widescreen infotainment system, complete with new software designed to improve your track driving with power and torque traces.

    The cabin can be finished with a new set of N Light Seats, pictured below. Whether they’ll be offered in Australia hasn’t been confirmed yet, but they follow on from the seats teased on the i30 N Project C revealed in September 2019.

    Hyundai is expecting the dual-clutch transmission to drive more demand for its performance hero.

    “We are expecting to see a healthy uplift in volume when the N DCT transmission launches locally, alongside the traditional manual, early next year,” a Hyundai spokesperson earlier this year told CarExpert.

    “The manual i30 N has already built a reputation among enthusiast owners for being fast, comfortable and capable, as well as great value.

    “That will not go unnoticed with other enthusiast drivers who want the performance, but don’t want the inconvenience of a clutch pedal.”

    What do you think of the new i30 N?

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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