Hyundai developing i20 N alongside next WRC fighter

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Hyundai has just redesigned its i20 subcompact hatchback sold overseas and like the vehicle’s predecessor, this new one will be the basis for the automaker’s contender in the World Rally Championship.

Hyundai is currently developing its new i20 WRC contender, with star driver Thierry Neuville recently spending time behind the wheel of a prototype on a frozen lake in Arjeplog, Sweden. This time, though, Hyundai is developing a hot i20 N road car alongside the rally fighter, and Neuville was also able to sample a prototype for this.

Prototypes for the i20 N are also testing at the Nürburgring. Compared to the regular i20 N, the prototypes wear larger wheels housing uprated brakes. There’s also a new front fascia with enlarged intakes and a subtle lip spoiler, as well as lowered suspension.

The most powerful engine in the redesigned i20 at present is a 1.0-liter turbocharged inline-3 mated to a mild-hybrid system. It’s good for a peak 118 horsepower. The i20 N is likely to feature a turbocharged inline-4 displacing 1.4 or 1.6 liters to boost peak output to well above 150 hp. Potential rivals like the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI are delivering close to 200 hp.

Hyundai hasn’t said when it’s new i20 WRC will be ready but the automaker said the i20 N will be coming up soon. While we won’t see the car in the United States, we can look forward to other new additions from Hyundai N. Prototypes for a Kona N have previously been spotted and there are rumors of a Tucson N coming down the line as well. Hyundai N is also confirmed to be working on a standalone sports car, possibly with electric power.

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