Hyundai is rapidly expanding its N Line range of vehicles, with both the new i30 sedan and facelifted Kona confirmed to get the sporty treatment. But there’s one new N Line not headed to Australia, and it’s the brand’s most popular model, the i30 hatch.
Australia will miss out on the updated i30 N Line hatch, previewed earlier this year thanks to Hyundai Europe. While the rest of the range has arrived in local showrooms this week with new-look styling and cabin updates, the N Line will retain the same look as before.
The reason for the miss is surprisingly simple – it’s not built in the right factory. Hyundai builds the i30 hatch at plants in both South Korea and the Czech Republic, with the local operation taking all-but-one of its variants from the former because it means lower costs and therefore cheaper prices.
The South Korean i30 factory isn’t building the updated N Line hatch, which is only being produced at the Czech plant, so Hyundai Australia has been forced to stick with the current look.
Hyundai’s local product planning boss, Andrew Tuitahi,, explained the production challenges this week, but said he’s confident that the existing i30 N Line is still fresh enough to continue to be successful amid the new-look i30 hatch line-up.
He said the Kia Cerato GT-rivalling N Line launched in early 2019, effectively replacing the SR-badged models in the range, so it’s newer than the rest of the i30 hatch range that arrived in 2017.
Mr Tuitahi also made it clear that nothing will change in terms of where the cars are built, so the current South Korean-built N Line will be what’s offered locally until the next-generation i30 hatch arrives; which should be sometime in 2023.
The only variant Hyundai Australia does source from the Czech factory is the i30 N. So does that mean we’ll miss out on the new-look hot hatch?
Thankfully, Mr Tuitahi has confirmed to CarsGuide that the 2021 i30 N will continue to be taken from the Czech Republic. That means it will get the aggressive new look that we’ve seen previewed ahead of its arrival in the first half of next year.
“We source the car from Czech, so we’ll have the facelifted (i30 N),” he said.
The rest of the updated i30 hatch range is on sale now.