The Hyundai i20N has thus far shown imperturbable. I as a result felt compelled to existing TG’s general Vehicle of the Year with the type of obstacle absolutely nothing signed up in 2021 can obviously round up. Particularly the most effective hot hatchback ever made.
Large words, however I agree to toenail them to the 2009 RenaultSport Clio 200 Mug. There are much more severe warm hatches, and also faster ones. However none muster a lot attention deficit disorder without interrupting their base cars and truck’s seating strategy.
Have I made points also difficult for the i20N, inviting along a symbol made several generations of safety as well as performance regs ago? Well theoretically it’s a dead heat. They’re generally the exact same weight as well as power, the Clio’s 1,204 kg/197bhp playing the i20N’s 1,220 kg/201bhp. Their power-to-weight ratios are divided by a single horse power (in South Korea’s favour) with their length, width as well as wheelbase even closer pegged.
And most importantly both really feel developed with the very same unpopular information. Hyundai has fine-tuned its rev matching to the nth degree as well as made it simple to switch off, while the Renault has no such tech but the most exquisitely designed throttle pedal to make it the most joyously geeky activity on the planet.
That sort of thing’s costly to develop and also homologate, similar to the Clio’s added vast bespoke bodywork which led it to being created in Renault’s expert Dieppe manufacturing facility which currently pumps out Alpines. As well as I completely believe its impressive optional Recaros– certainly the very best seat ever fitted to a mainstream car– are what resulted in the wonderful in-house buckets you find standard in the i20N (and also opponents). I think this entire auto perked every person up as well as increased bench in its class.
It’s mesmeric. Buzz its normally aspirated 2.0-litre to 8,000 rpm with the auto up on its toes and you’ll wish for absolutely nothing else on earth with 4 wheels. Seriously. The Clio 200 lives on the cusp of analogue and also electronic; not so old that it skates about like it’s on space-savers or puts your tummy in your mouth each time you brake, yet old sufficient to contain no drive settings or issue. You desire a lot more sound from the exhaust? You work the magnificent engine harder. You desire your downshifts rev-matched, or to feel the rear axle slide? You find out how to make those things occur yourself.
Comparative, the Hyundai hands you everything with less initiative and speed, yet you’re equally as motivated to pile on both no matter. One of the most successful warm hatches egg you on as well as both of these do– constantly. The difference is the Hyundai calms your occasional need to remainder. With its limited-slip differential, rev-match system as well as midway ‘Sporting activity’ mode for the stability control, it enjoys to take some vibrant slack for you. It appeases your occasional demand to rest as well as rests a tangible 700rpm lower at a 70mph cruise.
It can’t help but really feel OTT in its refinement close to the back-to-basics Cup, however with an engine that grumbles mischievously into life and much more abrupt flight quality, the very same impishness programs via it. The i20N’s seats port you lower as well as snugger in the automobile, also.
But while it meets a broader remit, both of these automobiles stand for magnificent over-engineering in their own method. Hyundai replies to the Renault’s specialist rear arcs with a plethora of added weld factors over a supply i20. Discomfort in the arse stuff for carmakers to finagle earnings margins from, but they help make the hench Hyundai automobile the fantastic little dosage of amusement it’s shown to be. The bright environment-friendly Clio stays my preferred warm hatch of perpetuity, however N department has delivered one hell of a homage act. And a car still to be truly flapped.