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2019 Hyundai i30 Fastback N revealed

Get ready, the hotted-up i30 N Fastback GT body will join the hatch in Australia by March next year
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The Hyundai i30 Fastback N has been revealed ahead of its world premiere at the Paris motor show next week. It’s the second model from the company’s N Performance Division, following in the wheel tracks of the hot-selling hatch model already on sale.

The good news for Aussie punters who like the swoopier coupe-like styling is that it’s on track to arrive locally by March 2019.

The Fastback i30 N blends its more elegant, and somewhat segment-defying, silhouette with the hatchback’s menacing grille, bumpers, red character lines, and blacked-out side sills. Other design touches include a twin-muffler exhaust and a rather subdued spoiler.

Inside there’s the familiar N steering wheel with red stitching, matching the highlights on the manual gear stick and seats.

As with the hatch, the N mode screen menu inside let’s you fettle the engine, rev-matching and exhaust sound from sporty to relaxed. The multi-mode dampers will also feature.

Active safety and driving assistance technologies include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Driver-Attention Warning, Lane-Keeping Assist, High-Beam Assist and Speed-Limit Warning.

The major benefit to the Fastback body beyond design (assuming it floats your boat) is the bigger boot with a wider opening. Its 450 litre capacity is about 15 per cent larger than the hatchback’s, growing to 1351L with the back seats folded – up 64L.

Performance is familiar. In Europe there are two tunes of the 2.0-litre turbo/FWD drivetrain available, called Standard and Performance. The Standard Package engine delivers 184kW and the Performance Package engine 202kW. In both peak torque is 353Nm, or 378Nm on overboost.

As with hatch, though, we understand the Fastback will be sold in Australia with the higher-power engine only. No point half-arsing…

Hyundai claims the i30 Fastback N Performance Package version accelerates from 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds, the same as the hatch. Top speed is 250 km/h.

Like the hatch, the Fastback N can only be had for now with three pedals (a six-speed manual). This has hurt sales of the hatch because Australians overwhelmingly buy autos.

However, a wet-clutch eight-speed DCT auto is due locally in late 2019. The current DCT can’t handle the N’s torque, but this new one will...

For those not in the loop, the Hyundai N range was derived from the company’s burgeoning FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and Touring Car Racing (TCR) International series. The line-up was born in Namyang, Korea, at Hyundai’s global R&D Centre, but developed and tested at Germany’s Nürburgring.

An Australian suspension tune also features, as it does on other Hyundais.

Complete Australian pricing and specifications will be available closer to the local launch of the Hyundai i30 Fastback N in the first quarter of 2019. It won’t be greatly different to the hatch version’s razor-sharp $39,990 price tag.

Check out more i30 Fastback N pics in the gallery.

Beyond the i30 N family

As you can read in more detail, the second-generation Veloster asymmetric coupe has its own hotted up N derivative as pictured above. However, much to our chagrin, it’s not available in right-hand drive yet.

Thus, despite being one of the world’s more vibrant hot hatch markets (Golf GTI, Renault Sport Megane and Mercedes-AMG A45 all sell in unusually high numbers here, after all), Hyundai Australia will lack the full trio of N models for now, despite wanting the whole set.

Veloster fans will need to ‘make do’ with the 150kW Veloster Turbo, due around November/December this year.

Would the Veloster N cannibalise the i30 N range here? Maybe. But one might argue that more choice is better. What do you think?