Sporty driving and good looks: press reactions to the all-new i20 N

  • The unveiling of the Hyundai all-new i20 N last month generated positive reviews in the press
  • Hyundai’s latest high-performance model is inspired by motorsport and by the i20 WRC rally car
  • The all-new i20 N has “the makings of a cracking hot hatchback”

- Hyundai Motor recently launched the all-new i20 N, its latest high-performance N model.

The international automotive press has reacted with excitement and offered glowing praise for its performance and design credentials.

Based on the road-going version of the all-new i20, the i20 N is a racetrack-capable hot hatch inspired by the rally car i20 Coupe WRC. A number of high-performance driving features, including Rev Matching and Launch Control, are designed to boost its performance on the track. Moreover, a low ground clearance and an aerodynamic design make it a real corner rascal.

Powered by a 1.6-litre T-GDi flat power engine, the all-new i20 N features 204 PS and 275 Nm of torque paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. The all-new i20 N incorporates Hyundai’s unique N Grin Control System with five different drive modes, which optimises the engine, suspension and steering for a variety of driving conditions.

But there is more to this model than what is under the hood – the exterior design also incorporates Hyundai’s signature Sensuous Sportiness design identity. The all-new i20 N combines agile driving with stylish good looks – and the media has certainly noticed.

After much anticipation, we’re proud to finally bring this much-awaited model to Europe. We are delighted to learn that the latest member of the Hyundai N family is well-received in the media, especially with journalists that were lucky to drive our prototype cars for the very first time. The all-new i20 N has an eye-catching appearance and is a lot fun to drive whether on the road or racetrack. This combination of excellent performance and good design is what makes our latest N model special.

Andreas-Christoph HofmannVice President Marketing and Product at Hyundai Motor Europe

Here is what the press have said about the all-new i20 N so far:

Autocar from the UK highlighted the all-new i20 N’s exciting new look. “The new model receives a wide-ranging cosmetic overhaul to mark it out as an N division product.” It also noted Hyundai’s unique design philosophy in particular: “The exterior is said to combine ‘elements of Hyundai’s rallying heritage with the company’s latest Sensuous Sportiness design identity. This has the makings of a cracking hot hatchback.” After a test drive with the i20 N prototype, the editor added “Even really good car makers could miss the mark, but Hyundai has not, because this ‘95% finished’ i20 N is terrific.”

Top Gear from the UK declared the all-new i20 N “a little hot hatch with big potential.” It described the steering as faster and the suspension as lower and stiffer compared to the regular i20.

The future of the small hot hatch was in doubt, but Hyundai has proven there’s life in it yet. Our time behind the wheel of the i20 N may have been brief but it was long enough to confirm that this is shaping up to be a highly entertaining and accomplished hot hatch. A handful of laps around the Nurburgring GP circuit […] highlighted the i20 N’s more playful side.

UK’s Auto Express

Germany’s Auto Zeitung also praised the all-new i20 N’s sporty credentials. “Even in normal traffic, the all-new Hyundai i20 N (2021) is great fun, roars sonorously with its wide tailpipe, splashes, snaps and bangs even when the appropriate driving mode is engaged, triggered by a short interruption of the fuel injection.” Adding, “But all this would be of little value if the steering feel didn’t fit – and Hyundai did a great job on that.”

Their overall verdict was “The new Hyundai i20 N (2021) proves itself during our first test drive in the prototype as a successful machine for driving pleasure based on a small car, which despite its tight set-up also works well in everyday life.”

Spanish publication Auto Bild Online concluded that the i20 N “promises driving characteristics that will undoubtedly make you sweat and have a great time.”

Italian publication, Motorionline, said the all-new i20 N “presents a strong look, combining the sporty elements derived from motorsport experience with the recent stylistic identity of the brand.”