2021 Hyundai i30 N sports new look, dual-clutch transmission

Hyundai sells a hot version of the Elantra GT overseas known as the i30 N.

It’s a close relative of the Veloster N which was just updated for 2021. Now, it’s the i30 N’s turn to receive some updates.

2021 Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai hasn’t pulled any surprises here. The updates to the i30 N largely match those made to the Veloster N and include the addition of a dual-clutch transmission to the options list, new wheel patterns, lightweight bucket seats, and styling tweaks.

The powertrain remains unchanged and consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 normally rated at 246 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. An optional Performance Package increases output to 276 hp and 289 lb-ft, which is up 5 hp and 29 lb-ft from before. With the latter, owners can expect a 0-62 mph time of 5.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at 155 mph for both versions.

2021 Hyundai i30 N

2021 Hyundai i30 N

Drive is to the front wheels only, making the i30 N a good alternative to cars like the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI. The Performance Package adds a brake-based limited-slip differential to improve handling at the limit. It also adds bigger brakes, which at the front axle now features 14.2-inch rotors.

Previously, the only transmission for the i30 N was a 6-speed manual. Now buyers can opt for an 8-speed, paddle-shifted dual-clutch transmission. The transmission is exclusive to the Hyundai N performance division and features programming designed to enhance the fun factor. For example, the engineers have added an NGS (N Grin Shift) program. This combines two elements: improved transmission response for about 20 seconds coupled with a temporary 7% boost in peak torque, which can be handy when passing.

2021 Hyundai i30 N

2021 Hyundai i30 N

There are also NPS (N Power Shift) and NTS (N Track Sense Shift) programs that optimize the shifts for acceleration and dynamic driving respectively. NPS is activated when the throttle is depressed more than 90%, while NTS detects when road conditions are optimal for dynamic driving and activates automatically.

Other updates to the i30 N included revised styling front and rear that mirrors tweaks made to the rest of the i30 range for 2021. We won’t see those styling tweaks on the Elantra GT as the model will be dropped from local showrooms after the 2020 model year.

2021 Hyundai i30 N

2021 Hyundai i30 N

For the interior, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats have been made available, and a performance data recorder is included as standard. There are also lightweight bucket seats available for the driver and front passenger. These help save about 4.4 pounds compared to the standard seats and feature an illuminated N logo on the upper side of the backrest, as well as Alcantara inserts. They also provide more support during cornering.

Hyundai also sells an i30 N Fastback overseas, and this model also receives the updates you see here.

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