Hyundai makes

Fastback faster

Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, front
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, side
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, rear
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, interior
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, instrument panel
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, N mode button
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, display screen
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, dashboard
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, air vent
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, grille
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, rear diffuser
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, rear seats
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, rear spoiler
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, phone charging pad
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, brakes
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, engine
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, boot
Hyundai i30 Fastback N, 2019, boot, seat folded

A SECOND performance model in joining Hyundai's stable in the UK with the arrival of an N version of the i30 Fastback.

On sale now, the hot Fastback comes with all the fun and thrills of the i30 N hatchback but in a bodystyle that adds class and practicality.

At £29,995 it is also high on value and costs just £500 more than the hatch equivalent.

Performance is just the same at 6.1 seconds 0 to 60 with a top speed of 155mph and the Fastback is rated at 34mpg under the new WLTP fuel testing regime. Emissions are 188g/km.

In the real world that figure is attainable but give the car some beans and its thirst increases significantly.

On mountain roads at the car's launch in Gran Canaria we saw an average of just 20 to the gallon while on the track consumption rose to single figures with the Fastback N showing just 9mpg on its trip computer.

But that's what happens when you let loose all the 275ps available from the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that is tuned to perform in the most dramatic fashion.

Engage N mode - one of five drive settings available - and the i30 Fastback transforms from a potent everyday car into one of the finest performance models on the market.

It is more than a match for any hot Golf, Renault and even a Focus RS and the ride is as grippy as they come.

Factor in practical features such as extra room in the rear and a 450 litre boot that can expand to 1,351 litres with the rear seats down and the Fastback N is in a class of its own.

Boot space is down slightly on that of the regular i30 Fastback and that is due to a strengthening bar fitted at the back to increase torsional rigidity.

Like the hot hatch the Fastback has been developed under the guidance of Hyundai's head of research and development Albert Biermann who joined the Korean car maker from BMW's fabled M division.

The Fastback N is the fifth derivative in the i30 range and like the others is built in Europe at Hyundai's factory in the Czech Republic.

The performance model is more than three seconds faster under acceleration than the mainstream i30 Fastback and the tweaks to the handling make it feel a totally different offering.

Dressed with distinctive red highlights on the front and rear bumpers and an N badge on the grille it actually sits a fraction lower than the regular Fastback.

It looks the part and the theme is continued inside with plenty of sporty features including a bespoke gear lever and an eight-inch touchscreen that can show a plethora of information ranging from navigation instructions to tyre pressures and even G force.

For the enthusiast it is packed to the hilt with de rigueur hot car features such as coloured brake callipers, red highlights around the facia vents, a black gloss edged rear spoiler on the boot lip and a triangular fog lamp in the centre of the rear diffuser between the exhaust pipes.

The sound conveys everything about the car - even when idling - but press the N button on the steering wheel and the noise crescendos blipping and crackling away.

But there is a serious side to the Fastback N with a slightly softer suspension than the performance hatch, a clever differential and torque vectoring control all designed to deliver.

There is slingshot acceleration, great feel and precision from the steering and rev matching for accurate gear shifts making the Fastback N as much at home on the track as it is on the open road - the choice is down to the driver.

The Fastback N is the only performance coupe in the medium car market at the moment and that puts it in a niche of its own but one in which it should find appeal.

The hatchback model was voted best of its kind in the UK Car of the Year Awards in 2018 and the Fastback delivers the same - just with a different take on style.

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