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2018 Hyundai i30 N Fastback set for Australia

By David Bonnici, 14 Jul 2017 News

2018 Hyundai i30 N Fastback set for Australia

Hyundai’s newly introduced i30 Fastback won’t be coming Down Under in standard form, but expect a nutso N version to make the trip.

HAVING attracted global attention by finally revealing its highly anticipated i30 N hot hatch last night, Hyundai chucked in a set of steak knives in the form of an i30 Fastback.

The garden variety versions of the slippery looking i30 won’t be coming to Australia, however we are likely to see it when an N badge, with that version about to be signed off.

A Hyundai Australia spokesman told Markeaton the final designs for the i30 N Fastback have been tended and it’s a “very special looking car”.

It won’t be a half-baked N car either, and will complement the hot hatch to add volume much in the same way Audi has positioned its new RS3 sports sedan alongside its existing hot hatch.

If you were hoping for a more affordable version you’ll have to pack your bags. The i30 Fastback is only being built at a factory in the Czech Republic which is flat out enough as it is building cars for the European market. Even if it could increase capacity the exchange rate means Hyundai dealers here would take a bath trying to keep costs in line with the Korean-built hatch variants.

Hyundai Australia admits it would otherwise be interested in this “excellent looking choice” despite it being very much a niche product in the small-car segment.

Hyundai Design Centre Europe’s chief designer Thomas Bürkle reckons the Korean-based carmaker is the first volume brand to enter the compact segment with “a stylish and sophisticated five-door coupe”.

“When designing the i30 Fastback we played with the proportions of the i30 range by reducing the height of the Cascading Grille and lowering the roof line. The elegant silhouette is further emphasised by the generously arched rear spoiler shape.

“Our team was able to achieve a pure design, which combines the sports car spirit with the comfort of a luxurious sedan.”

Driving dynamics have been tweaked to accommodate the new design and maintain balance between ride and comfort including lowering the chassis by 5mm and stiffening the suspension by 15 percent.

Overall height is 30mm lower than the hatch resulting in a sportier stance, however its athleticism is undone by an uninspiring choice of two downsized turbocharged petrol engines including an 87kW 1.0-litre three pot and 102kW 1.4-litre four.

You’d hope Hyundai sees sense and introduces a 150kW 1.6-litre powered SR variant at some point.