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Specification:
Hyundai i30N Performance
Engine:
1998cc, 4cyl turbo, FWD, 271bhp, 279lb ft
Claimed MPG:
39.8mpg, 163g/km CO2
Performance:
0–62mph in 6.1secs, 155mph
Weight:
1429kg
Price:
£27,995/£28,580 as tested

There is no greater vindication of the i30N’s quality than this. RaceChip, buried deep in Germany’s tuning scene, has modified a Hyundai hot hatch rather than its usual Mercs, Porsches and VWs.

An ECU remap and a new exhaust system lift the i30N’s outputs to 316bhp, identical to a Civic Type R, and 387lb ft, just 11lb ft off a Ferrari 458 Speciale. Yikes. There’s 15mm-lower Eibach suspension, 3kg-lighter OZ forged wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. You can spec it all separately from €660, but the mods listed total five grand.

Some big changes, then, yet they serve to amplify the i30N’s existing traits rather than reinvent its character, which is what I admire most in tuner cars. There’s the same rambunctious attitude, just with added precision.

I had no idea the stock i30N had any slack in its steering until I experienced the snappy turn-in of RaceChip’s, while the wheelspin that afflicts our car in lower gears has been eradicated. Impressive, given the extra performance, and those tyres can probably take as much credit as how subtly integrated its extra torque is.

Its additional 108lb ft is most tangible when the 2.0-litre turbo instantly punches in higher gears, making this a much better autobahn car (a very German problem to have fixed). But not only does the grey car have the same power as a Type R, it feels like it operates at the same level. If I were to keep our i30N for myself (I wish), I’d be very tempted to give RaceChip a call.

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