Hyundai’s long-awaited eight-speed twin-clutch transmission is ready for the road and will be in Australia – in the i30 N – from early 2021.
In irritating news, the Hyundai Veloster N is the first N model to score the Korean giant’s new eight-speed twin-clutch transmission. In better news, that same gearbox will land on our shores in the i30 N and i30 N Fastback in early 2021.
As you know, we rather like the i30 N here at The Redline. It’s way more fun than just about anything else on the road (Ford Fiesta ST excluded). It also knocked off my favourite in that segment, the Renaultsport Megane. It thoroughly trounces the Golf GTI, which is impressive, because that’s a very good car.
What both the Megane and Golf have over the i30 N is an automatic option. Both of those cars have twin-clutch automatics which broadens their appeal and makes them slightly quicker.
Hyundai always said a DCT was coming, so just hold your horses.
Eight Speed DCT
The new transmission is a dual wet-clutch unit. Hyundai says – and this is perfectly reasonable – that this setup is better than a twin dry clutch. The oil keeps things cooler because, let’s face it, the 2.0-litre turbo four is a torquey beast. In this application it will ensure better reliability even if means a higher maintenance load.
Along with the eight-speed’s “better ride comfort” (what?), normal use will see your N use less fuel and, of course, at the end of a long day, it might be a welcome sight.
Hyundai has added three shift programs with terrible names. Really, strap in for this.
N Grin Shift – yikes – sends the engine into overboost for 20 seconds, delivering a seven percent lift in torque. Yup.
N Power shift kicks in when you use more than 90 percent of throttle, “mitigating any reduction in torque by using upshifts to deliver maximum power to the wheels.” I think that means it shifts faster and harder to give you the idea of dynamic gear shifts.
Finally, there is N Track Sense Shift. From the press release, it selects “the right gear and shift timing just like a professional race car driver to provide optimal performance.”
Yeah, me neither. I think it’s an auto shifting program which lets you get on with steering and braking, but it’s not immediately clear.
The transmission seems pretty clever, using engine braking on downhill and “detecting” track use and letting you wring its neck.
Yep. It’s packed with safety gear, which is handy.
Also, in the Veloster at least you can choose a set of lighter sports bucket seats. Saving two kilograms, they’re wrapped in suede and have an illuminated N logo. Like the M logos in BMW M seats.
How much and when?
We’re still not getting the Veloster N in Australia, which is really annoying, but as I said, the eight-speed will arrive in the i30 N and Fastback. So, you know, hardly a terrible burden.
We don’t know how much yet – the car is about to go on sale in Korea with the i30 variants to follow soon after. We’ll have to wait until early 2021 to get in the saddle, which should be a blast.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.