CASH-STRAPPED customers in the market for a “warm” hatch (i.e. not quite a full-blown hot hatch) are currently spoilt for choice. There’s the brilliant and compact Suzuki Swift Sport, a car that Clarkson says “handles beautifully and has a puppy-dog enthusiasm,” or, if the budget can stretch to a Volkswagen, there’s the tried and tested Golf GTI.
But now Hyundai has thrown its hat in the ring with a plucky 183bhp version of the i30 that could be well worth the attention of anyone requiring punchy performance wrapped up in a family-friendly package, and will be a truer rival to the forthcoming Nissan Pulsar Nismo.
The Hyundai i30 Turbo has been specially developed at the South Korean manufacturer’s recently opened Nürburgring testing facility and features a turbocharged version of the existing 1.6-litre GDI petrol engine.
Potential customers will get a good old-fashioned six-speed manual gearbox and suspension that has been tweaked to return sharper handling, while the steering has been retuned for improved feedback and feel.
Stylistically, the Hyundai i30 Turbo will be set apart from its more sedate sibling with the addition of 18-inch alloy wheels, Bi-xenon front lamps, twin tailpipes and a revised hexagonal grille that features special red detailing. The cabin will also benefit from a racy instrument cluster, sports front seats and leather surfaces with the aforementioned red stitching running throughout, including the steering wheel and gear shifter.
The proposed performance figures aren’t likely to trouble the more powerful and more expensive offerings from the likes of Mercedes and Volkswagen but it will complete the 0-62mph sprint in eight seconds and top out at 136mph, which is more than enough to spice up the daily commute.
Hyundai’s upcoming turbocharged offering might not pack the ferocity of the marque’s rally-spec i20 but it does offer a more practical everyday solution, with 378-litres of boot capacity and a claimed fuel economy figure of 39mpg. The Hyundai i30 Turbo is set to cost less than £20,000 when it arrives in showrooms next year.