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Hyundai confirms i30 N Fastback for 2019 launch

Fastback body style to add an extra dose of style to Hyundai i30 N from next year

30 Jul 2018

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has confirmed a 2019 launch for its i30 Fastback N, a yet-to-be-revealed coupe-style take on the pioneering five-door hot hatch it lobbed in March.


Set to be the third model in the Korean marque’s burgeoning N performance model line-up, the i30 Fastback N has been officially shown for the first time, albeit in camouflage, ahead of its full reveal later this year.


The engineering mule outed in the four teaser images is predictably the love child of the i30 N and i30 Fastback, with the former’s design appearing to carry over from the B-pillars forward, while the latter’s curvaceous look is prevalent at the rear.


The i30 Fastback N is currently undergoing performance and durability assessments at Hyundai’s technical centre in the Nurburgring – the infamous German circuit from which the N sub-brand partly takes its name – and on different road surfaces throughout Europe.


It is possible that HMCA will eventually import some i30 Fastback N prototypes to Australia to calibrate the model’s ride and handling for local conditions while subjecting them to hot-weather testing.


This process previously led to the Australian-market i30 N adopting a softer suspension set-up that catered towards the lower-quality roads found locally.


While the car-maker is yet to confirm the i30 Fastback N’s powertrain, it is a near certainty to be motivated by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine as its front-wheel-drive i30 N sibling.


However, this unit is offered in two states of tune – 184kW/353Nm and 202kW/353Nm – but given the former is not available in the Australian-market i30 N, the latter should be a starter for the local i30 Fastback N.


As previously reported, the i30 Fastback N could also launch with the eight-speed dual-wet-clutch automatic transmission that has been mooted for a late-2019 introduction since the i30 N hit showrooms with the sole option of a six-speed manual gearbox.


While the i30 N is priced from $39,990 before on-road costs, the i30 Fastback N could attract a small premium for its extra does of style.


Given its sedan-like profile, the i30 Fastback will go toe to toe with the 197kW/350Nm Subaru WRX (from $39,240) when it arrives.


However, for the time being, Hyundai is claiming the five-door ‘coupe’ segment at the non-premium end of the market all to itself. HMCA has previously ruled out the regular i30 Fastback range due to its European-market focus.


Sales of the i30 small car have improved steadily this year, with 14,980 examples sold to the end of June – a 3.0 per cent increase over the 14,537 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.


The i30 is currently placed third in the sub-$40,000 small-car segment, trailing the Toyota Corolla (19,143 units) and Mazda3 (17,090) but ahead of the Volkswagen Golf (10,479) and Kia Cerato (10,232), among others.

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