In a chat with Cars.co.za, a Hyundai South Africa spokesperson confirmed that the performance variant of the i30 will likely reach our shores in the 2nd half of 2019. Update: subsequent chats have revealed that Hyundai SA will be bringing in its potent performer in January 2020!
Around the middle of 2017, the hot hatchback world was rocked by a new arrival. The Hyundai i30 N has done nothing but make waves since its inception and globally it has been hailed as a fantastic driving machine. There are two versions available, both powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. In the most powerful form, there's 202 kW and 353 Nm on tap and 184 kW and 353 Nm in standard form. That shove goes to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission and Hyundai claims its i30N can blitz to 100 kph in 6.1 seconds and 6.4 seconds respectively.
Our overseas driving impression heaped praise upon the newcomer. "On the evidence of this first drive, you’d have to say it has. Hyundai has pulled off some feat in delivering a car that feels so intuitive and enjoyable – not to mention heroically fast when the moment arises – and yet will happily play shopping cart when necessary." That sounds like the recipe for a great hot hatchback, doesn't it?
Sadly, up until now, the South African hot hatchback scene has been missing this newcomer, but we have some news. Following on a tip, we reached out to Hyundai South Africa who confirmed that a serious business case for the i30N is currently being built, with the plan for the vehicle to become a halo model for the Korean brand when it arrives in the 2nd half of 2019. Think of what Kia SA did with the Stinger, it wasn't going to be a massive volume seller, but it put the brand in the spotlight for the performance fanatics. Volkswagen SA did a similar move with the extreme Golf Clubsport S.
Critical to the vehicle will be pricing and demand, but given the international hype surrounding this car, there'll be serious demand for it. We don't think there will be many, estimates suggest at most around 50 units earmarked for South Africa. Initial suggestions from the manufacturer point to the lower output model being introduced locally.
Update: However during the local launch of the Tucson Sport, the brand confirmed an arrival date of January 2020 for the flagship 202 kW model. Expect pricing to be quite steep considering the limited number of models being made available.
Interested in one of the most exciting hatchbacks? Best you head down to your dealership and make your intentions known.