2023 Hyundai i30 N Drive-N Limited Edition revealed, confirmed for Australia

The Hyundai i30 N hot hatch will soon gain a new special edition, with bronze highlights, unique detailing, Alcantara upholstery and red accents – but there are no engine or chassis upgrades.

The 2023 Hyundai i30 N Drive-N Limited Edition has been revealed in Europe – and 180 of the global production run of 800 cars are bound for Australian showrooms later this year.

The i30 N Drive-N Limited Edition is the first Australia-bound special-edition version of Hyundai’s i30 N hot hatch family, and adds a number of exterior and interior design elements to differentiate it from standard models – for a “small additional cost”.

Of the 800 cars set to be built globally – across hatchback and Fastback body styles – 180 examples are headed for Australia, exclusively in hatchback guise, said to represent the “second largest” allocation by market.

Based on the flagship i30 N Premium with Sunroof variant in Australia, the Drive-N Limited Edition adds a dark bronze matte finish for the carry-over 19-inch forged wheels, unique front, side and rear decals, and black Hyundai badges.

Two Drive-N badges feature on the front wheel arches, finished in dark bronze matte, and featuring the GPS coordinates of Hyundai’s test centre at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, where each new N car is developed.

Approximately 70 per cent of Australia’s allocation of special editions will be finished in a new Serenity White Pearl paint finish, with the remaining circa 30 per cent to be painted in Phantom Black Pearl.

Inside, upgrades include Alcantara upholstery for the steering wheel, gear lever, centre armrest and handbrake, unique red-accented inserts for the N Light sports seats, red seat belts and N steering wheel buttons, and red stitching throughout the cabin.

There’s also a unique badge above the wireless phone charger denoting the vehicle’s number out of the 800-car global production run, plus a new set of floor mats with ‘DRIVE-N LIMITED’ lettering and red edging.

There are no mechanical changes for the i30 N Drive-N Limited Edition, with the standard hot hatch’s 206kW/392Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet to drive the front wheels through a limited-slip front differential.

Hyundai Australia has confirmed 70 per cent of the local allocation (126 of 180 cars) will be fitted with eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions (DCTs), with the remaining 30 per cent (54 cars) to feature six-speed manuals.

This split is in line with the standard Hyundai i30 N hatch range, of which approximately 73 per cent are equipped with the eight-speed DCT auto (based on 2021 sales data).

Features carried over the Premium with Sunroof variant on which the Drive-N is based should include a 10.25-inch touchscreen, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights, autonomous emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring.

There will also be a panoramic glass sunroof, auto climate control, wireless phone charging, keyless entry, and front seat and steering wheel heating, plus performance brakes (with 360mm front discs), adaptive suspension, and a variable sports exhaust.

The 2023 Hyundai i30 N Drive-N Limited Edition is due in Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year (October to December), with production beginning for certain markets late last month (April).

Pricing is yet to be announced, however Hyundai Australia says to expect “a small additional cost” over the current flagship i30 N Premium with Sunroof variant, priced from $49,500 plus on-road costs with a manual, or $52,500 with an automatic.

“Customers should register their interest with their local Hyundai dealer,” Hyundai Australia advises.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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