This is one to watch out for, folks.

Hyundai is slowly but surely shifting its image from what it used to be a decade ago to one of a manufacturer that is on par with more established rivals. This is being achieved not only by making better everyday cars but making sportier cars too. The next one in line is the 2020 Hyundai i20 N - a model that’s slated to take on the Ford Fiesta ST and Renault Clio RS.

The 2020 Hyundai i20 N and What it Means to the Hot Hatch Market

The 2020 Hyundai i20 Will Hit the Market to Take on the Ford Fiesta ST and Renault Clio RS
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In a previous report that talked about a spiced up N version of the Tucson, a small mention was made about an i20 N. But, I think the supermini hot hatch is definitely the more important of the two, at least from an enthusiast’s point of view. This holds especially true since Hyundai’s first ever hot hatch, the i30 N, is getting rave reviews. It is a new name that established itself literally overnight, and now, buyers are considering it alongside models like the Volkswagen Golf GTI or the RenaultSport Megane.

The Autocar report we’re basing this article on doesn’t really have much information about the upcoming i20 N other than the fact that it is coming. It won’t arrive this year, though, but it will come in 2020 when it will take on the likes of the VW Polo GTI, the new RenaultSport Clio or the Peugeot 208 GTi, among others.

In order to stand a chance, the i20 N needs at least 200 horsepower (preferably around 220 horsepower to give it an edge), as well as a serious restyling job to make the car look more aggressive.

The standard i20 is not a bad looking car, but it is a bit plain and lacking in character - nothing that can’t be fixed with big wheels, flared arches, lowered bumpers and side skirts, larger rims, and a big wing on the back.

The 2020 Hyundai i20 Will Hit the Market to Take on the Ford Fiesta ST and Renault Clio RS
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Hyundai does have an engine it could rely on to power the i20 N - it’s the 1.6-liter turbo it already has powering its warmed up models. It’s a good, strong engine, but it doesn’t really sound that exciting nor is it scintillating on the move. The unit would need an overhaul to get more out of it, as well as a totally new exhaust so that it pops and crackles on the overrun just like its bigger i30 N brother.

Had this report come out before the i30 N did, we would have looked at it with sympathy and hopefulness.

But now that the i30 N is out, and it’s pretty much brilliant as far as hot hatches go, it automatically raised the bar for the i20 N.

So, even if it’s Hyundai’s first supermini-based hot hatch, they can’t afford to (and most likely won’t) get it wrong.

What’s it going to look like? Well, how about the the regular i20’s shape with many of the details found on the larger i30 N but grafted onto its body. Still can’t picture it? In order to help you visualize, I’ve done a quick rendering to try to anticipate what the i20 N could end up looking like if they retain the same style as on the i30 N.

There is also the possibility that Hyundai is waiting until 2020 in order to launch an all-new i20 and convert that into a hot hatch. The current i20 has been around for around five years, so it is due for replacement fairly soon, although, at the same time, Hyundai could do what Ford does with its RS models - these are launched in the very last year of production for the Focus hatch so that production numbers are kept low and the model is more exclusive.

Further reading

2018 Hyundai i20 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Hyundai i20.

2015 Hyundai i20 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Hyundai i20.

2018 Hyundai i30 N Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.

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