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N-Sport treatment for Hyundai i20


IF YOU had told us a few years ago that there would be a sports division at Hyundai, we would have sent you off to an AA meeting. However, as Hyundai has evolved into a more proficient competitor over the years for its German rivals, the company has in fact adopted a sports division, known as, N-Sport and they have fiddled with the i20. Is it any good? We have the details below.

The latest Hyundai i20 was launched earlier this year and has now been given a sporty touch, both visually and mechanically. It’s already a very impressive package as it feels premium and offers customers most luxury features - usually optional on competitor products, such as Bluetooth and climate control, electric windows and an array of safety features to boot - as standard.

The visual N-Sport enhancements include 17-inch alloy rims, a Sport Body kit, a stainless steel free-flow CAT back exhaust system and N-badges on the front mudguards and rear hatchback door. The Sport Body kit consists of side skirts, front and rear bumper trim finishes to carry through the sporty line from the side skirts and a rear boot spoiler.

The N-Sport also features stiffer springs, which have not only given the i20 Sport a lower stance on the road. The suspension tweak also adds a firmer ride, sporty handling and better road-holding to the package. The free-flow exhaust system also complements an audible announcement of the added engine power.

Now, as for the engine, this is where we raise an eyebrow. Hyundai has thought it wise to make use of its Kappa 1.4-litre engine. In the standard car this engine develops 74kW and 133Nm of torque. However, after some N-Sport tuning it now develops 85kW and 160Nm. Power is sent to the front via a six-speed manual gearbox. This all sounds good, but we feel that Hyundai would be able to gain more performance from a smaller capacity engine with the aid of a turbocharger, much like those found in competing vehicles such as the 1.2-litre Volkswagen Polo and the 1.0-litre Ford Fiesta EcoBoost.

Sure, the Hyundai looks good and the added enhancements have seemed to improve the car’s sporty capabilities, but we wish the Koreans would start adding turbo technology to their already impressive line-up of vehicles.

The N-Sport i20 is said to retail for R235 500, which includes the Hyundai warranty and roadside assistance for five years, or 150 000km, and a service plan for three years, or 60 000km.

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