"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." That's from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. And why do we begin with this literary extract? Well, for its beauty and aptness, because if you’re looking at the Hyundai i30N thinking ‘it's just another i30’, you’d be very wrong.
What is essential to know, but hidden from sight, are the hours of work that have gone into turning the i30 into a proper balls-out hot hatch capable of, Hyundai hopes, competing with the big boys – everything from the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI if you’re considering the entry-level 247bhp version, and right up to the Honda Civic Type R and Focus RS for the 271bhp i30N Performance.
The engineering team behind the i30N is led by ex-BMW M division chief Albert Biermann. He’s a man who knows his onions when it comes to setting up quick cars, having played a central role in creating many of BMW’s M cars, such as the BMW M3. And to make sure the i30N works in reality, it has been honed diligently around the infamous Nürburgring racetrack.
So, has it worked? Is the Hyundai i30N really a serious contender for your cash? Read on and we’ll let you know.