Disguised prototypes of Ford Fiesta ST rival now have bodywork of Hyundai’s new-generation hot hatch.
The Hyundai N line-up will continue to expand in 2020 with the Kona N crossover and the long-awaited i20 N hot hatch.
Although prototypes for the Ford Fiesta ST challenger have been seen a few times before, Nurburgring test cars now wear a production body from the new-generation i20, which was revealed earlier this year.
The test hack our snappers have caught at the Nurburgring is wearing the trademark features of a performance model, including a wheel design inspired by the bigger i30 N hiding red painted brake callipers, plus revised front and rear bumpers and a twin exhaust outlet.
Expect similarly sporting upgrades to the i20 N’s interior, including figure-hugging sports seats, liberal N badging and different trim details.
Powertrain details for the i20 N remain scarce. Some rumours suggest the i30 N’s 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine will be detuned and squeezed under the bonnet of the smaller car, but another likely candidate is the Korean brand’s widely used 1.6-litre T-GDi motor. This offers 130kW in the flagship Kona but would need to be boosted to beyond 150kW in order to ensure its competitiveness with rivals such as the Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI.
As with the i30 N, the hot hatch will continue to be developed at Hyundai’s Nürburgring test facility. Expect a bespoke chassis set-up with stiffer springs and dampers, as well as some of the adjustable drive modes offered in its bigger sibling.
Automotive Daily understands that both the Kona N and i20 N will go on sale in overseas markets early next year and that the local arm is very keen to secure both N models given a chance. We could see both minus the disguise later this year.