For all the leaps and bounds that Hyundai has made to counter its more established European rivals in recent years, it’s never really had a product to properly entice us rowdy petrolheads. Sure, there was the Veloster, but the way it drove left us feeling a little meh. The Korean company looks set to right that wrong, however, with this: the new i30 Turbo.
Coming as part of the i30’s mid-life refresh (which includes a grille that looks a little too much like the Audi TT’s for our liking), Hyundai has created this more sprightly version by slotting in the turbocharged 1.6-litre engine from the Kia Cee’d GT - a car which the i30 shares a platform with. The suspension is heavily revised and has been developed at the Nurburgring (where else), while the brakes have been suitably beefed up.
Hyundai has also added lots of visual clues about the performance within, by adding splashes of red inside and out, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a twin-exit exhaust. It certainly looks the part, but there’s one rather glaring issue: it’s still not hugely fast.
The Cee’d GT is already more of a warm hatch rather than hot, but the Hyundai is even less powerful, putting out a mere 183bhp compared to the Kia’s more useful 201bhp. Torque remains the same at 195lb ft.
This means the i30 Turbo will take a leisurely eight seconds to get from 0-62mph - 0.3sec down on the Kia - while the top speed is 7mph lower at 136mph. We can only assume Hyundai doesn’t want to rain on the Cee’d GT’s parade too much, which is understandable given that the Korean firm is Kia’s parent company.
Regardless, the package looks promising enough, and it should be nicely affordable with an expected starting price of around £20,000. It’ll go on sale along with the rest of the facelifted i30 range in early 2015.