2020 Hyundai i30 N facelift shown, adds 8-speed DCT – paultan.org

Following in the footsteps of the Hyundai Veloster N, the facelifted i30 N is the next N model to get the South Korean carmaker’s new eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. Complementing the existing six-speed manual, the gearbox is said to provide a balance between engagement and convenience.

Aside from the quicker shifts, the DCT also enables three new performance-enhancing features. The first is N Grin Shift, which engages the sportiest engine and gearbox setting for a maximum of 20 seconds, simply by pressing a button on the steering wheel.

Meanwhile, N Power Shift engages gears more aggressively when more than 90% of the throttle is applied, delivering unlimited torque to the wheels and giving a more abrupt shift feel. Lastly, N Track Sense Shift, as the name suggests, detects when the roads are ideal for driving quickly – such as racetrack – and adjusts the shift points to suit.

The 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine has also been upgraded. It still makes 250 PS and 353 Nm of torque in standard form, but cars fitted with the Performance Package now have 280 PS and 392 Nm at their disposal – increases of 5 PS and 39 Nm respectively. So equipped, the car gets to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than before, although it’s unclear if this is with the manual or the new DCT.

Underneath, the i30 N gets retuned suspension and steering for better ride and handling, although adaptive dampers, the N Grin Control System with Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom drive modes, and the Performance Package’s electronic limited-slip differential continue to be fitted. On the Performance Package, the front brake discs are now 15 mm larger at 360 mm to provide greater stopping power.

Hyundai has also sought to reduce the weight of this car with a couple of additions. The Performance Package adds new forged 19-inch alloy wheels that altogether weigh 14.4 kg lighter than the outgoing cast rollers, while available N Light Seats with integrated headrests and illuminated N badging shave off 2.2 kg compared to the standard pews.

These additions go hand in hand with the revised exterior design, derived from the standard i30 facelift. You’ve got a wider front grille (here with an N-specific Y-shaped mesh), flanked by redesigned LED headlights with arrow-shaped daytime running lights. The triple air intake is similar to before, continuing to come with air curtain inlets that improve airflow around the front wheels.

While the rear of the Fastback model remains unchanged, the hatch gets a new bumper design. There’s greater use of unpainted black plastic (especially around the number plate recess), and the rear fog lights have been moved further down for a cleaner look. The tail lights also get the same arrow-shaped graphics as the headlights. The twin tailpipes and distinctive triangular brake light remain.

Inside, there are fewer changes, including Performance Blue seat belt accents and a larger 10.25-inch navigation touchscreen as an option, equipped with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the latest BlueLink connected services.

Safety has also been improved with more SmartSense driver assistance systems, such as pedestrian detection for autonomous emergency braking, lane centring assist and – on the hatchback – blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. Models with the DCT add braking intervention to blind spot monitoring.

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