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The Hyundai i30N Option wants you to play Spot the Difference
Hardcore, tuned-up i30N boasts 25 new bits of equipment. Time to find them all
The more conventional five-door’s refusing to be left behind, though, and it’s appearing alongside the Fastback at the Paris motor show in a new, punchy guise. Meet the i30N N Option, the fiercest Hyundai ever. And yeah, there’s meant to be two Ns.
Hyundai doesn’t appear to have tweaked the performance – fine by us, the 271bhp i30N Performance is an absolute peach – but it has given the N Option a whole 25 new bits of styling inside and out. Time to play Spot the Difference.
On the outside, there’s carbon aplenty, not least that humongous roof spoiler and the freshly vulnerable front splitter. Wouldn’t want to go scuffing that…
The sill extensions now come embossed with coloured N logos and there are little flicks and wings all over the place. The wheels are 20in, lightweight items that come wrapped in semi-slick track tyres. That firm ride quality when you press the N button? It probably hasn’t softened.
Perhaps most boisterous is the new carbon bonnet, complete with supercar-esque nostrils. Rather than exposed carbon though, like an old Renault Megane R26.R, it’s painted matt white like the rest of the car.
Inside, there are even more changes to search for. Rolls of Alcantara have been used to cover the dashboard and steering wheel rim, much of it interspersed with (arguably dubious) bits of carbon. It’s certainly not subtle in there, those red-striped bucket seats in particular. There’s also a freshly shiny and metallic knob to operate the i30N’s fine manual gearchange with.
The N Option is unlikely to be an outright model in itself; its maker describes it as a Paris show car that “gives a first glimpse of how Hyundai’s high-performance offer could evolve”, essentially hinting that much of the goodies will become optional. You can already add lighter wheels, bigger brakes and some proper Recaros to an i30N as special options, and this car suggests more is on the way.
Hyundai’s really taking this hot hatch thing seriously, eh?