Real GTI spirit, there is not much left today. Peugeot no longer produces the 208 GTi, Renault has discontinued the Clio RS. They are now only three in the segment of compact supercharged : the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI, both recently restyled, and the Hyundai i20 N. What if the little Korean girl was the best of all? The answer in our video essay:
With 204 hp and 275 Nm of torque for 1,200 kg, the Hyundai i20 N provides performance. In addition, its 1.6 4-cylinder turbo engine is full at all revs, and even knows how to entertain the gallery with a sport exhaust with valves and rumbling. All without falling into a caricature: a real pleasure. Above all, this efficient block has been able to avoid the horrors of the penalty: it is kept under € 1,300. Not bad, especially since the i20 N is the most affordable of the GTI trio, with 27 800 € and 0 options to add, apart from painting.
But let’s forget these pecuniary considerations. The Hyundai i20 N is a car like no other. When entering a bend, its sharp frame allows slight drifts of the rear axle : enough to have fun and gain efficiency in placement, without becoming tricky. The front axle is not to be outdone: thanks to a standard limited slip differential, the two front wheels pull towards the inside of the turn on a go-around. Exhilarating!
Of course, this player side pays off. If you go through the throttle on a bumpy road, the steering tends to follow the irregularities of the bitumen, even if the 204 hp pass without worrying about traction. Above all, the suspensions are in the dry: not unlivable on a daily basis, but we are far from an idea of comfort.
Finally, inside, the finish is disappointing. The hard plastics are legion, and without the slightest effort to hide them. However, we appreciate the large customizable digital handset, and the specific steering wheel with two large N buttons to activate the driving modes. And the manual gearbox, a rarity, is ideal in its handling, and helped by a automatic toe heel (deactivatable).
In short, this Hyundai i20 N is a “real” one. Alive, endearing, even its flaws make you smile. Small GTIs are on the way out, but Hyundai has not given up!
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