GEARHEAD

Club Culture

Singaporean owners of the Hyundai i30 have created two clubs to celebrate the new-generation hatchback

Some members of the 3rd Generation i30 Singapore Group (i30 PDe)

August 2018

Too much passion is never enough, and it’s not just The Smithereens who are feeling it. Just ask the 600 or so members of the two Hyundai i30 owners’ groups in Singapore. 

They simply love everything about their cars and it’s not hard to see why. To say the third-generation i30 stands out from its predecessors is like saying Cinderella is more chio than her two step-sisters. 

These i30 club members spend much time and money to customise their rides. With their lovingly extensive modifications, the i30s are transformed with stunning results.  

But then, everything about this current i30 (codenamed PD) is sharper – from the new design language with its clean lines and perfect proportions, to the sportier performance of the 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which drives the front wheels through the more direct seven-speed dual clutch transmission. 

There are two FB groups dedicated to the new i30 – the 3rd Generation i30 Singapore Group (i30 PDe), and i30SG Turbo (PDe is the Singapore version of the car). 

While both groups are separate, they were founded at around the same time in April this year.  

Chong Gee Huon and Richard Leong are among the respective administrators of these two groups. 

Super enthusiast

Gee Huon is semi-retired from the logistics business he used to own, but fully involved in his 2018 i30 1.4 T-GDI in Moon Rock paintwork. 

This is his second Hyundai; previously, he had a 2010 Avante among the many cars he’s played with over the past 30-odd years.  

He had gone shopping with a budget of around S$120,000 but reveals he eventually chose the i30 for two important reasons: its premium ride and build quality.

“I had shortlisted three cars – the Volvo V40, VW Golf and Hyundai i30,’’ Gee Huon recalls. “The V40 was my first choice actually. I was impressed by its build quality and safety features but not the performance or the engine noise.’’

As for the Golf, it was the 1.0 variant, not the 1.4 which was not available then. 

“The Golf 1.0 was the only latest Mk 7.5 model available, with decent performance for a three-cylinder, 1.0-litre model. But the equipment level was disappointing.”  

Although he had initially wanted to switch from the Korean and Japanese brands he was accustomed to, he was pleasantly surprised by the i30’s ride and quality. 

“It was the first Korean model that I had come across with the qualities of a Continental make. In addition, its 1.4 turbocharged engine paired to a DCT transmission let it punch well above its weight. At such an attractive price, the purchase was a no-brainer.”

Chong Gee Huon’s Moon Rock Hyundai i30

Price plus performance

Richard, who is in banking, has a 2017 i30 1.4 T-GDi in Phantom Black. This is his first Hyundai and he hadn’t actually intended to buy it. 

What happened was a friend had got one and “I was curious about this Cat B car that has better performance and yet was priced lower then my previous Cat A car due to the dip in COE prices’’. 

So he went on a test drive and the rest was history. 

“It had better performance and power at a lower price. That pushed me to upgrade.”

And he started tricking it out on Day One. 

“In fact, the parts arrived before the car – all-white led bulbs to upgrade the lighting system. The earlier the mods are completed, the more you can enjoy the car.’’

Many of the modifications on the i30 were also what he had done for his previous car. 

“Even the performance rims were transferred over from that car.’’

Guiding him is his past experience from modifying earlier cars, with parts sourced mostly from Taobao, AliExpress and eBay for the cosmetics. 

On the other hand, the performance mods are done locally, although Richard is very careful about keeping them legal. 

“I stay away from illegal mods on the exhaust or bigger turbos and so on. It may make the car louder or faster, but you have to fear the LTA and TP riders wherever you go, and reliability may be impacted. That to me reduces the enjoyment of the already very good car.”

And the best part about the mods?

“They didn’t actually cost very much, as the rims came from my previous car.’’

Others, like the performance air filter cost about S$100, and a new steering wheel with wrap was about S$400.

Richard Leong’s Hyundai i30 in Phantom Black

Auto fascination

Gee Huon is especially fascinated by cars that have been “tastefully dressed up”. 

“During the ‘80s before the internet, I was an avid collector of car magazines, in particular those on car mods and tuning like Fast Car, Carboy and Hot 4s. I also collected Best Motoring videos. I learned much from them and was inspired to trick out my own ride.’’

Like Richard, he also started transforming his i30 on the day it was delivered. 

“The perfect car doesn’t exist. As a car enthusiast, I would like to improve upon it and personalise it.’’

But one area he has not touched is the suspension. 

“It is original. I did not lower its ride height because I want a practical car, one that can i can park and drive up slopes without scraping it.’’

His parts come from the US, Korea and China. 

“In general, products from Korea are better quality but there are some items that can only be sourced from the China market.’’

Group passion

The two Singapore i30 Facebook groups have about 300 members each, who attend both official meet-ups as well as informal gatherings, usually among members living near one another. 

The 3rd Generation i30 Singapore Group (i30 PDe) group has met twice at Komoco Motors-organised events – once at the Alexandra Road showroom, and another time at Suntec Pasar Bella. 

Gee Huon, who belongs to this group, says the i30 is a car which inspires members’ passion. 

“It appeals to car enthusiasts and has the right qualities and support. Although newly launched in Singapore, there are already a number of aftermarket accessories for it. Unlike some other models, buying the car is not an end to it. The i30 can be dressed up and customised by their owners.”

Richard, who belongs to the i30SG Turbo group, says members 

usually gather about once a month, with the first few informal meet-ups taking place in open air carparks in Kallang. 

“We get together to chit chat, see the mods other people do, learn from them and also share knowledge on how to do mods at a lower price. The good performance of the car is also a strong pull factor that generates passion for it.’’

And no one is more pleased by the camaraderie of the i30 fans than Vincent Ng, sales manager of Hyundai distributor Komoco Motors. 

As one of the driving forces of the 3rd Generation i30 Singapore Group (i30 PDe), Vincent says of the i30 owners: “In this way, they can to channel their collective passion for the car by sharing the same ownership emotion.”

 

Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDi

Engine – 1,353cc inline-4 turbocharged

Gearbox – 7-speed dual clutch transmission

Max power – 138 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Max torque – 242 Nm @ 1,500 rpm 

0-100 kmh – 8.9 secs

Top speed – 210 kmh

VES band – B (neutral)

Contact – Komoco Motors, tel 6475-8888

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