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Hyundai: i30 N is more fun than the VW GTI

Hyundai wants to wrestle Volkswagen for hot hatch supremacy.

Hyundai believes the i30 N it sells overseas is a better driver's car than the Volkswagen GTI, one of its closest rivals. And while we're not getting the hot hatch in America, the brand's confidence bodes well for other N-badged members of the line-up we'll see here.

"For the [i30] N we clearly wanted it to have closer [suitability] to the track than a Golf GTI. I mean, there can be GTIs that are suitable for track driving but if you take a standard GTI, it's not like that. With the N we clearly want to be more suitable for track driving than GTI and give it more character and, most important thing, give it much, much more fun to drive” N boss Albert Biermann told Australian website CarAdvice.

That's fighting talk in the automotive industry. Volkswagen hasn't responded to the comments yet, but it's clear Hyundai is ready to tussle for hot hatch supremacy.

Introduced in Frankfurt last year, the i30 N (pictured) gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 250 horsepower, making it a little bit more powerful than the stock GTI. Biermann's involvement helped Hyundai build a true driver's car; his resume includes running BMW's M division.

Hyundai has already ruled out selling the i30 N in the United States; we're not quite sure why. Instead, the second-generation Veloster is the firm's first American-spec N-badged model. It made its debut earlier this week at the Detroit Auto Show with a 275-horsepower evolution of the i30 N's engine.

Photography by Ronan Glon.

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