Hyundai i30 N and i20 N axed in Europe

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Production of petrol-powered Hyundai N hot hatches has come to an end in Europe, with electric N models picking up the baton.

It’s official: Hyundai has announced the end of the fantastic i30 and i20 N models for the European market. The move follows the launch of its highly anticipated Ioniq 5 N EV, with the South Korean marque citing its push towards a zero local emissions line-up as the reason behind the cancellation of these popular performance models.

The models will continue to be sold in Australia, however.

In an official statement, Hyundai said: ‘Production of the ICE N models has ceased for the European market starting from February, in line with our commitment to offering a zero-tailpipe-emission line-up to our customers by 2035 and to operating 100 per cent carbon neutrally by 2045. Going forward in Europe, Hyundai is developing Hyundai N as a pioneer of high-performance EVs. Our customers will benefit from technological developments that will make EVs even more attractive in the future.’

While the i30 N was Hyundai’s very first attempt to break into the competitive hot hatch market, it was an outright success from the get go. An expertly balanced, engaging chassis made it one of the best models in its class right from its 2017 launch, with its engine providing plenty of turbocharged punch. With development led by ex-BMW M boss Albert Biermann, it should come as no surprise that the i30 N immediately stood toe-to-toe with the long standing Volkswagen Golf GTI. A 2021 facelift saw it receive a snappy dual-clutch transmission option, design and chassis tweaks and a strong uplift in output, helping it maintain its strong position in the segment.

In 2021 came the i20 N supermini, another bold move from Hyundai’s performance division, going head-to-head with the indomitable Fiesta ST. Small dimensions, low weight, a punchy power and mind-boggling dynamic abilities made it a true rival to Ford’s iconic supermini. While it didn’t sell in the same high numbers as its i30 N sibling, it certainly made its mark.

With the short-lived Hyundai Kona N long gone, Hyundai’s N department is left with only the all-electric Ioniq 5 N in 2024. While a fascinating, capable and truly engaging offering, it will be quite some task to replicate the pure, unadulterated thrills of the petrol-powered i30 N and i20 N.

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