Ten years ago, the idea of Hyundai building a hot hatchback looked highly unlikely. These days, however, they can't seem to get enough of them. There's the i30 N Performance, as well as the Veloster N Performance. Now, they're about to debut the i20 N Performance, and it looks like it wants to pick a fight with the Toyota GR Yaris.
But before Hyundai debuts the hot hatch, they let their rally drivers have a spin in it first. They're not about to show all their cards yet either as it's still wearing camouflage. We'll have to wait a little bit longer for the full reveal. Also, they haven't released any performance figures for it just yet.
The Hyundai i20 N Performance could be the basis of Hyundai's rally car in 2021. That's because Thierry Neuville, one of the drivers for Hyundai's World Rally Championship team, said that “I’m looking forward to getting this one to drive in WRC”. With that, it could mean that the i20 N Performance might come with an all-wheel-drive system. The fact that they tested it on snow and lent it out to a rally driver might be another hint to its drivetrain too.
If it will, indeed, be a GR Yaris fighter, the i20 N Performance should make at least 260 to 270 PS. That's because Toyota's hot hatch makes 272 PS right out the gates thanks to its 1.6-liter, three-cylinder turbo engine. Hyundai could use a boosted 1.6-liter engine too, albeit with four cylinders, just like the one used in the Veloster GT and Kia Forte GT. That engine makes 204 PS in stock form, and if Hyundai wants to go directly against the Toyota, they should ramp up the boost. Of course, Hyundai has an array of engines they can use, so nothing is final yet.
The only certain thing, for now, is that it will be launched sooner than later. With that, it could just be a matter of months before Hyundai gives us the full details. Perhaps Toyota might want to watch their backs on this one.