Every time you see a car with a ‘performance’ moniker – ST, GT, Performance, S, for example – followed by the world ‘Line’, you can be sure that the manufacturer responsible is cashing in on motorists’ desires to drive something that looks more sporty than it is.
Enter the new Hyundai i30 N Line. It’s attempting to build on the success of the brilliant i30 N hot hatchback, by offering a slightly less hardcore package under the skin but with all the visual drama of its full-fat sibling.
To that end, the i30 N Line will be offered exclusively with the most dynamic ‘normal’ engine in the line-up – the 1.4-litre T-GDI petrol. It’s a turbocharged four-cylinder unit that produces 138bhp – more than 100bhp down on the i30 N’s 247bhp 2.0-litre unit, and barely half of the more potent 271bhp Performance Pack-equipped model.
Visual updates are extensive and unique to the N Line. New front and rear bumpers feature, giving the car a more purposeful look, and are accented with a silver paint line. Around the rear, there’s a dual-tip exhaust arrangement, while there are N Line badges on the front wings to mark it out.
Eighteen-inch alloy wheels hide some genuine mechanical changes, too – namely a set of 16-inch front brakes over the 15-inch ones you get on the standard car, as well as high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres. The suspension has also been uprated to, in Hyundai’s words, ‘add extra spice to the i30 five-door’.
The interior’s been treated to a makeover, too. There are N-branded sports seats, finished in grippy suede to help keep passengers in place during spirited cornering, plus a perforated leather steering wheel and N-specific gearknob.
Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, vice-president of marketing & product at Hyundai Europe, said: “Our i30 N has been hugely successful since launch, showcasing our capabilities in high-performance engineering and emotionalising our brand with its fun-to-drive factor. Now, we are extending that feeling to a wider audience with the new i30 N Line. We believe the comprehensive package of design and engineering enhancements will continue to attract more new customers to the Hyundai brand in Europe.”
Hyundai hasn’t revealed pricing details for the new i30 N Line but you can expect it to sit at or near the top of the standard car’s range – although naturally it will undercut the full-fat i30 N hot hatchback. Order books will open in the coming weeks.