We’ve been treated to an early peek at the Hyundai i30 N’s lapping ability during the car’s recent local launch.
While Brendan Reeves was on hand for circuit tuition and professional stunt driving purposes, MOTOR grabbed the Australian rally ace to show us what the N can really do.
Reeves has achieved international podiums in the junior WRC and won numerous rallies on the Australasian and North American circuit, so he knows what he’s doing.
His consistent class wins with front-wheel drive cars also makes him the perfect man to extract the most from this 202kW and 378Nm hot hatch.
Reeves was able to set a 1min 41.52sec time with the i30 N during the afternoon, with traffic at the fast turn five sweeper.
The demonstration sparks the hype as a champagne year for hot hatches builds anticipation for MOTOR’s Bang For Your Bucks test this May.
Although it’s not very scientific to compare data from different conditions, that lap time falls behind MOTOR’s previous run in the Focus RS which set a 1min 37.3sec lap at Bang For Your Bucks in 2017. Or the Civic Type R’s 1min 38.5sec at PCOTY 2018.
It is also worth considering this particular car’s tyres and brakes already endured a morning circuit session and a day’s worth of road testing prior to its lap.
Interestingly, Reeves insists the car’s softer damper mode yields a faster time on slippery surfaces.
He also managed to go 1.6 seconds faster in the i30 N fitted with Pirelli Trofeo R tyres and PAGID brake pads.
Outright times aside the i30 N’s chances at BFYB rest on how it balances its performance with its price. And it fares well with a $39,990 tag which includes all performance goodies like a locking diff and adaptive dampers.
They’ll fight on the drag strip and around Winton Raceway in the hands of a tame racing driver where the results will establish a concrete pecking order.
That is until the Renault Megane RS lands third quarter this year with the intention to smash that to pieces.