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Hot Hatch

The Hyundai i30N and i20N have been killed off in Europe

Two more excellent hot hatches bite the dust

Published: 28 Feb 2024

Would the last hot hatch out the door please turn off the lights? Both the Hyundai i30N and i20N have been axed in Europe, because - yep, you guessed it - the South Korean brand is focusing on EVs.

A moment of silence please. The i30N was revealed in 2017, and as of its mid-life facelift it harboured 276bhp from a 2.0-litre turbo and the handling of a whippet on a tiled surface.

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The i20N followed in 2020, and immediately confirmed that Albert Biermann’s (he of former BMW M fame) exceptional work on its larger sibling was no fluke.

But rather than kill off the N division altogether, instead Hyundai will put all of its effort into stuff like the Ioniq 5 N and that - in fairness - has given us hope for the future. So all is not lost.

“Production of the ICE N models has ceased for the European market starting from February, in line with our commitment to offering a zero-tailpipe-emission line-up to our customers by 2035 and to operating 100 per cent carbon neutrally by 2045,” said the company in a statement.

“Going forward in Europe, Hyundai is developing Hyundai N as a pioneer of high-performance EVs. Our customers will benefit from technological developments that will make EVs even more attractive in the future.”

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Still, the death of the i30N and i20N is a further sign that the purple patch of hot hatchness that peaked somewhere in the mid-to-late 2010s is well and truly over.

Last year the Ford Fiesta ST was killed off for good along with the standard car on which it was based, while the last ever Renault Megane RS made its final bow in 2023.

The Focus ST will suffer the same fate later this year and the Focus RS was never replaced.

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That leaves... what exactly? The AMG A45, the Toyota GR Yaris, the Honda Civic Type R, the Audi RS3, the VW Golf R and Golf GTI, the BMW 128ti… and not a huge amount else. And nothing below £30k. Crumbs.

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