Driven - February 2016

Zooped up: Hyundai i20 Sport

Remember the time guys would buy ordinary hatchbacks and slowly but surely turn them into something more radical? Most car lovers have gone through a time where a go faster kit, bigger wheels and a loud exhaust pipe was all you wanted. Well Hyundai have realised that this is an inevitable phase in a car lovers life and as a result they have created something to appeal to this market.

What happens when you take an i20 and give it some boy racer treatment? You get what they call the Hyundai i20 Sport. A set 17 inch alloy wheels, a sports kit and a cat back exhaust later and you’re ready to hit the streets. By hit the streets we don’t mean that you’re going to go out there and win races, after all you only have 85 kW/ 160 Nm coming out of that 1.4 litre engine, even though the car has been given a performance chip. So don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a powerhouse, it’s not.

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How does it drive?

The Hyundai i20 Sport is solid in terms of ride quality. The lower suspension and firm damping means that it corners well too. Even though that little engine is not that fast, it’s not terrible slow either, but with the exhaust screaming along, you feel like you’re going much faster than you are.

What does it cost?

This is where the Hyundai i20 Sport will face a challenge, because it costs R 253 900. That puts it up against the Suzuki Swift Sport and the Opel Corsa Sport. The Suzuki is an exciting little car but the Opel Corsa Sport is the most appealing in this segment because unlike its normally aspirated competitors, it has a turbocharger and much more power. The Corsa Sport is also more refined than both the Hyundai and the Suzuki.

Verdict.

If the Hyundai i20 Sport cost less, it would be a much more appealing package. Unfortunately, it’s price is going to hinder it against the competition. On the bright side, though, at least it has a loud exhaust and some shiny wheels.