Hyundai Sime Darby Malaysia (HSDM) has officially launched the Hyundai i30 N in the country, a year after its first appearance here as a preview at KLIMS18. Only 20 units will be available for our market, and of note is how the car will go on sale here – it will be sold exclusively on Lazada Malaysia during its 12.12 Grand Year End Sale.

The first model in the automaker’s performance-based N sub-brand has been making plenty of waves since its debut in 2017, going up against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault Megane RS and Ford Focus ST in Europe.

The front-wheel drive i30 N is powered by a 2.0 litre Theta T-GDI turbocharged engine, with two output tunes being available for the twin-cam E-CVVT mill – the car we get is the higher of the two. In its standard guise, the unit offers 250 PS at 6,000 rpm and 353 Nm at 1,450 to 4,000 rpm, (with overboost, 378 Nm) and performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds and a 250 km/h top speed.

The Malaysian-spec car is the one with a Performance Package, which bumps up the power to 275 PS at 6,000 rpm, with the torque output remaining unchanged. The top speed remains at 250 km/h, but the sprint time for the car is accomplished faster, at 6.1 seconds.

The car is only available with a six-speed manual transmission (with a strong clutch that’s built to last, according to the company), which should be just the thing for those still very much into stick shifters. It provides an alternative to the Megane RS 280 Cup in its manual form, although that is RM20k cheaper at RM279,888.

Exterior accoutrements for the N variant include aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers, a N-badged radiator grille, black bezel for the LED headlamps, a new rear spoiler that is finished in gloss black and twin tailpipes. Elsewhere, the side sills are finished in black and the outside mirror caps are in gloss black, while the front splitter gets a red accent.

The i30 N also gets an increased wheel arch, and in its Performance Package guise is dressed with 19-inch units, wrapped with 235/35 Pirelli P-Zero high-performance Hyundai N tyres. The car sits lower than the regulation five-door i30, in this case eight mm lower with the 19-inchers (four mm on the standard i30 N, which gets 18-inch wheels).

The 275 PS variant rides on an electronically-controlled adjustable suspension with Skyhook technology and comes equipped with red N brake calipers and larger 18-inch front, 17-inch rear brake discs (on the standard, 17-inch and 16-inch respectively). Also on, an electronic limited slip differential (E-LSD) and a variable exhaust valve system. Performance-oriented features include rev matching and launch control.

Five drive modes are available (Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom), offering a broad range of configurations, from comfort-oriented daily commuting to race track performance. Selectable via two dedicated buttons on the steering wheel, the different modes change the character of the car, adjusting the high-performance parameters of the engine, the dampers, ESC, E-LSD, sound, steering and rev matching.

Interior equipment includes dedicated high-performance sport seats with lumbar support and extendable seat cushions, with the driver’s seat being a powered, 10-way adjustable unit. Dressed in suede and leather, the seats also get a stamped N logo on the back rest. There’s also an N steering wheel, which gets blue stitching and an N logo, and an N gearshift knob.

Standard fit items include an infotainment system with a free-floating eight-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, dual-zone auto air-conditioning, cruise control, front/rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. Boot capacity is 381 litres, and with the 60:40 split rear seats folded down this increases to 1,287 litres.

Safety kit includes seven airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system as well as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Driver Attention Alert (DAA), among others.

Although six exterior colours are available for the car, the 20 units that will be sold here will all be in Performance Blue, an exclusive shade that was introduced with the start of the brand’s WRC engagement in 2014.

Finally, pricing. The Hyundai i30 N is priced at RM298,888 (on-the-road, without insurance), and comes with a five-year or 300,000 km warranty (whichever comes first). It will be available for pre-order from December 2 through Lazada’s Chup Dulu pre-order feature, but those interested in viewing the car can do so at the Sime Darby Auto Hyundai showroom in Old Klang Road ahead of that date.

As for the buying process, customers only need to pay a 50% deposit on the booking fee of RM2,000 (RM1,000) via the Lazada app from December 2-11, and check-out and pay the balance of the booking fee (RM1,000) from December 12-14 to secure the booking. Do take note that the deposit is non-refundable, if the full booking fee payment is not completed.

Buyers will then be contacted by a Hyundai representative to proceed with the purchase at their preferred Hyundai showroom. The 20 buyers who successfully complete payment of the full booking fee (RM2,000) and receive loan approval for their vehicle will also be presented with a trip to Korea for an exclusive track day experience.

GALLERY: Hyundai i30 N, KLIMS18 preview