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Driven: Hyundai heats up i30 Fastback N

Hyundai enters uncharted mainstream territory with i30 Fastback N hot sedan

8 Mar 2019

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has unleashed the i30 Fastback N, which packs the performance of its i30 N hot hatch in the more expensive, stylish and practical body of a coupe-like five-door sedan.
Priced from $41,990 plus on-road costs, the Czech Republic-sourced i30 Fastback N commands a $1500 premium over the i30 N, which is now $500 dearer due to Australia’s weakening exchange rates.
While the i30 Fastback N is similar in concept to the Mercedes-Benz CLA, it currently has no mainstream rivals, meaning HMCA is unsure of its volume potential, although it does hope to replicate the incremental sales that the sedan body style brought to the Audi S3 range.
About 11,000 examples of the i30 N have been sold since its global launch in November 2017, including more than 800 sales and 1100 orders in its first 12 months on the Australian market.
Speaking to journalists last week at the i30 Fastback N national media launch in Tailem Bend, South Australia, HMCA senior manager of product planning Andrew Tuitahi said the supply issues that impacted local i30 N sales last year have more or less subsided.
“The factory have really come to the party with ramping up production,” he said. “Everyone was surprised by the uptake of the car globally. They’ve really sorted out a good solution, and I don’t think we’ll have any issue getting cars that we ordered.”
Compared to the i30 N, the i30 Fastback N is 120mm longer (4455mm), 28mm lower (1419mm) and 12kg heavier (1441kg), while its cargo capacity is 55L higher (436L).
The i30 Fastback N also features a revised suspension set-up that was co-developed by HMCA (see separate story) and will be introduced on the i30 N in its forthcoming model-year update.
While other markets have access to two versions of the i30 Fastback N, HMCA exclusively opted for the Performance Pack that comes standard with a more potent engine tune and an electro-mechanical limited-slip differential (e-LSD).
As such, the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine produces 202kW of power at 6000rpm and 353Nm of torque from 1450 to 4700rpm – or 378Nm from 1750 to 4200rpm for up to 18 seconds on overboost.
This translates to the front-wheel-drive i30 Fastback N sprinting from standstill to 100km/h in a claimed 6.1 seconds with launch control engaged – 0.1s quicker than the i30 N thanks to its seven per cent low drag coefficient – while on the way to its electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
A six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching functionality is standard, but an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic unit is still due for both models later this year alongside pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, rear air vents and an electric park brake.
“Everyone understands and appreciates that the dual-clutch will be the majority of sales, and we should see an influx of customers who simply don’t drive manuals,” Mr Tuitahi said.
Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert should also become available with both transmissions as part of the aforementioned model-year update, with lane-keep assist and autonomous emergency braking the only advanced driver-assist systems currently offered.
Other standard equipment includes an active exhaust system with twin tailpipes; 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/35 Pirelli P-Zero HN rubber, tyre pressure monitoring, red N brake callipers, a sports body kit, dusk-sensing LED headlights with black bezels, LED tail-lights and daytime running lights, gloss-black side-mirror caps, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, and five driving modes – Eco, Normal, Sport, N Mode and N Custom.
Inside, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, DAB+ digital radio, a 4.2-inch multi-function display, front sports seats, a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel, alloy sports pedals, instrument cluster-mounted gear-shift lights, a rear stiffening bar, dual-zone climate control, red accents and seat stitching, Dark Metal trim, a black headliner and driver attention warning feature.
Buyers can opt for the $3000 Luxury Pack that bundles in rain-sensing windshield wipers, power-folding side mirrors with puddle lights, front parking sensors, rear privacy glass, keyless entry and start, 12-way power-adjustable front seats with heating and driver memory functionality, suede and leather-accented upholstery, a heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
As its name entails, the $5000 Luxury Pack with Panoramic Sunroof adds one more item to the package above, while metallic or mica paintwork is a $495 option.
To date, the Luxury Pack and Luxury Pack with Panoramic Sunroof have been purchased by about 40 per cent and 30 per cent of i30 N buyers respectively.
HMCA is still in negotiations to offer N Options dealer-fit accessories – previewed at the Paris motor show in October last year – with both models, but cost is proving to be challenging.
The i30 Fastback N’s claimed fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions on the combined cycle test are 8.0 litres per 100 kilometres and 186 grams per kilometre respectively.
As with all Hyundai models, the i30 Fastback N comes with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, but in this instance, it covers non-competitive, non-timed track use.
Capped-price servicing is available for the first five major intervals (every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever comes first), costing $299 for each visit, excluding the fourth that charges $399.


2019 Hyundai i30 N pricing*

i30 N $40,490
i30 Fastback N $41,990

*Excludes on-road costs

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