Hyundai S.A. released two models this week, the updated Hyundai i30 N (MY22) and the brand new Kona N. We were privileged to attend a jam-packed full day event, that consisted of a Killarney race track experience. (a first for me 🙂 and then a drive to Franschoek that involved a mountain pass or two…
Again, we are not going to focus on cup-holder count or ISOfix extra’s. For that you can consult Sir Google the 3rd or just walk straight to his twin brothers, Brick and Mortar on the corner of the High Street.
Lets get straight to drive-train details, as this is what the new models are all about! We are not exactly sure if former BMW M boss, Albert Bierman is to blame here for his expertise and guidance, but after a full day’s experience in both N models of the i30 and Kona, we can surely testify to a winning formula.
Looking at the facelifted I30N, the biggest change here is the employment of a completely new 8-speed (wet) Double Clutch Transmission (DCT), where the old model came with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Engine-wise, power was upped by 4 kW, while torque figures climbed considerably with 39 Nm, which was probably aided by the new DCT box, if measured on the wheels.
As mentioned, for me it was a brand new experience going around Killarney behind the wheel for the first time during a hot lap. An honest reward can be given to both cars, as I happened to be a back seat driver during a hot lap with professional racing driver, Deon Joubert.
The pick of the two for me will be the Kona N, due to its more urban stance with a relaxed steering set-up. The i30 N is a pure track weapon, with a much more focused steering set-up, but with a surprisingly soft ride as well; in “Normal” mode.
For once, the “Sport” ride mode does not just lift the revs and employs a quicker gear change, but the ride firms up as well, with the suspension seemingly stretching its muscles before a corner…
We are looking forward to receiving both models as test cars, so that we can give a proper stance on living with each model on a day-to-day basis.
Surprisingly, both models are hitting the showroom floors at exactly the same price of R749 900. Also, both the i30 and the Kona come with the following service plan and warranty:
- 7 year / 200 000 km manufacturer warranty
- 5 year / 75 000 km service plan
- 7 year / 150 000 km roadside assistance