Hyundai’s petrol hot hatches are no more in Europe | CAR Magazine

Hyundai’s petrol hot hatches are no more in Europe

Published: 23 February 2024 Updated: 23 February 2024

► European sales of i20 N and i30 N ends
► Hyundai N Performance will instead focus on EVs
► Electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 N leads the way

Hyundai has axed its i20 N and i30 N hot hatches in Europe as the firm’s performance arm switches its focus to electric cars

The South Korean firm’s RS-equivalent quickly earned itself a fearsome reputation in the hot hatch world with the introduction of the i30 N in 2017, and is now looking to do the same with performance EVs with the soon-to-launch Ioniq 5 N

Why has Hyundai stopped making petrol hot hatches?

In a nutshell, because it wants to establish N as a successful electric performance car maker – something no other mainstream firm has achieved yet. Even though Hyundai’s upcoming Ioniq 5 N has already had rave reviews, performance EVs remain a tough sell next to their petrol counterparts.  

Hyundai i30 N exterior blue

In a statement sent to CAR, Hyundai said production of ICE N models had ‘ceased for the European market starting from February [2024] in line with our commitment to offering a zero-tailpipe-emissions line-up to our customers by 2035.’ 

The official statement continued: ‘Going forward in Europe, Hyundai is developing Hyundai N as a pioneer of high-performance EVs. Our customers will benefit from technological developments that will make EVs even more attractive in the future.’

And outside of Europe?

Hyundai has made its confirmation clear that it only relates to the European market, and that petrol N models will continue elsewhere in the world.  

Hyundai i30 N badge blue

Cars such as the Elantra N will still be on sales lists in the USA, while it’s expected that the i20 N and i30 N will remain on sale in countries such as Australia, one of the most successful markets for Hyundai N.  

Is this the end of the road for affordable hot hatches?

If you’re a fan of affordable hot hatches, it’s not been a great few years. Ford Fiesta ST production ended in 2023, and the little VW Up GTI is also no more. Remember there won’t be a manual gearbox in the new Golf GTI, either. 

And now there’s this news about the i20 N and i30 N too! It’s worth remembering that the Toyota GR Yaris and Honda Civic Type R still exist if you want your petrol-powered hot hatch thrills. For now, anyway.

But it’s not all bad, is it?

We shouldn’t be too upset about the demise of European petrol N models, because there’s a lot to be excited about with the new Ioniq 5 N. 

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N blue exterior

As Hyundai has shown with its i20 N and i30 N, this firm knows how to set up a brilliant performance car, and the 641bhp Ioniq 5 N means business. We called it the ‘first proper EV performance car’ when we drove it for the first time over in South Korea at the end of 2023, and it’s one of the most eagerly anticipated new releases for 2024 in the CAR office.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is already on sale, priced from £65,000.

By Ted Welford

Senior staff writer at CAR and our sister website Parkers. Loves a car auction. Enjoys making things shiny