The Hyundai i20 N “hot hatch” has defeated 26 of the world’s fastest and most powerful performance cars in a test by Top Gear UK. Here’s what the judges said.

The budget-priced pint-sized Hyundai i20 N hot hatch has caused a major upset after beating 26 of the world’s fastest and most powerful cars – including a PorscheFerrariLamborghini, and a Bentley – in Top Gear UK’s annual “Speed Week” test.

It is one of the few times in the history of a Top Gear mega test an affordable hatchback has defeated such a large fleet of supercars.

The week-long independent test is judged by a team of Top Gear experts.

Unlike other performance-car tests – in which the fastest or most powerful vehicle usually wins – Top Gear UK’s “Speed Week” is focused on sheer driving enjoyment.

“It’s small, it’s fast, it’s affordable … in a sea of overpriced (performance cars),” said Top Gear magazine editor Jack Rix.

The Top Gear team also addressed the inevitable comparison between the Hyundai i20N and the Ford Fiesta ST; the former hot hatch favourite wasn’t eligible for this year’s test as it was not all-new for 2021.

“The big question mark with this car (Hyundai i20 N) was always the Fiesta ST,” said Rix. “Is (the Hyundai i20 N) better than the Ford Fiesta ST? The conclusion is … they’re actually quite different cars.

“The Fiesta probably still has the more playful chassis, but (the Hyundai i20 N) is a bit like a baby BMW M3.”

The judges also noted the Hyundai i20N has an “astonishing” level of front-end grip.

“What more do you want for a car that’s going to make you smile every single day?”

In a separate video, Top Gear TV presenter Chris Harris said: “This excites me more than that does,” comparing the Hyundai i20 N to the new Ferrari SF-90 V8 Hybrid.

In a media statement, Rix said: “Speed Week is always full of surprises. What we weren’t expecting was the most affordable car here to mount such a surge through the field for a thoroughly deserved victory.

“But there’s a keenness to the i20 N, backed up by huge ability and real dynamic polish that makes it something of a standout, not just among its peers, but among the whole spectrum of Speed Week,” he said.

Among the 26 supercars tested in the week-long exercise, the Hyundai i20 N was deemed better than the following for driving enjoyment:

  • Porsche 911 GT3
  • Ferrari SF-90 V8 Hybrid
  • Lamborghini Huracan STO
  • Bentley Continental GT Speed
  • BMW M3
  • Ford Mustang Mach 1

The 2022 Hyundai i20 N is due in Australian showrooms this month. The media preview drive is being held mid-November.

Contact our Tynan Hyundai team by calling (02) 8559 0800, or find out more about the new i20N here.

Source: drive.com.au