Lovers of pocket rockets, we finally have visual confirmation that Hyundai is developing an i20 N hot hatch.
The confirmation comes indirectly via these spy shots of an i20 test mule that clearly accommodates a performance version. It’s the first time we get to see the upcoming Hyundai i20 N, although the finished item will obviously look very different.
In the photos taken on and around the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track, we can see that Hyundai is using a current-generation i20 bodywork as a cover for the mechanicals of the i20 N, which will be based on the next-generation i20.
A close look at the chassis test mule reveals significant modifications, such as the fact that the third-gen Hyundai i20 (and consequently the i20 N) will feature a longer wheelbase than the current model. This should result in a roomier interior, particularly for rear-seat passengers. The longer wheelbase is easy to detect when looking at the makeshift wheel cutouts.
Unsurprisingly, the Hyundai i20 N also features a lower (and likely stiffer) sports suspension, as well as bigger brakes with red brake calipers. The subcompact hot hatch rides on 18-inch N wheels shod with Pirelli P-Zero tires sized 215/40 R18. The final upgrade visible from the outside is the exhaust system with two round tailpipes that hint at a more powerful turbocharged engine.
Our photographers also managed to take a look inside the Hyundai i20 N mule and discovered interesting details such as the N-branded gearshift knob for the six-speed manual transmission, and a strut for stiffening the body placed behind the rear seats.
The Hyundai i20 N is expected to feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with around 200 horsepower, allowing it to run against the Ford Fiesta ST and VW Polo GTI, among other pint-sized hot hatches. Also on the menu should be an electronic front differential, sharper steering, and obviously an aggressive-looking body kit. The Korean subcompact hot hatch is expected to debut in early 2020 along with the next generation i20.