Hyundai is out testing the updated i30 N in Europe, which will be in for its second facelift in the coming months.

    Here we can see an updated i30 Fastback N driving in convoy with the existing model, sporting light camouflage concealing the revised details at its front and rear ends.

    Our spy photographers noted revisions to the headlights – despite a similar LED daytime running light signature – revised bumpers front and rear, as well as new designs for the front grille and air intakes.

    More significant changes could be in the pipeline from a technology and drivetrain perspective.

    Given the updated i30 N will likely be one of the last purely combustion-powered Hyundai N cars, there could be some extra power squeezed out of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which currently makes 206kW and 392Nm – though on overboost it puts out 213kW for approximately 20 seconds.

    However, the Elantra N – known here as the i30 Sedan N – was recently facelifted and has received no changes to outputs or significant developments to the drivetrain according to overseas specifications. So, we’ll have to wait and see.

    Previous spy photos of the standard i30 Hatch also revealed black sheeting covering parts of the interior, leading to speculation that a technology upgrade could be in the works to bring the ageing small car in line with the brand’s newer products.

    Currently the i30 Hatch – irrespective of whether it’s produced in South Korea or Czechia – misses out on features like a digital instrument cluster and the latest and most sophisticated Hyundai SmartSense active safety technologies. Given the i30 remains a European-centric product, it makes sense a tech upgrade is in the works to keep it relevant against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and Peugeot 308 overseas.

    For Australia, production of the i30 Hatch will soon move exclusively to the brand’s Czechia plant, which already is the source of our N versions. Australia was one of very few markets still sourcing core models out of Korea, which will be ceasing assembly of the i30 by the end of this year.

    Hyundai’s local division has confirmed that it will introduce the new Euro-sourced non-N i30 Hatch line-up around mid-2024, bringing with it a new-to-Australia 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 48V mild-hybrid (MHEV) technology.

    Making 117kW and 253Nm, the 1.5 T-GDi MHEV is available overseas with both six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions (DCT), with WLTP fuel consumption rated at 6.1-6.3L/100km depending on spec. The current 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit quotes 7.4L/100km in Australia, while the N Line’s 1.6-litre non-MHEV turbo quotes a thriftier 7.1L/100km.

    Speaking of the N Line, European production would also open us up to the fully refreshed N Line look that never made it to the Korean factory. It closer resembles the existing i30 N rather than the pre-facelift model.

    Further details will be confirmed closer to the new model’s on-sale date, which is currently earmarked for around May to June next year.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

    MORE: Everything Hyundai i30

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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