An affordable Mercedes-AMG A45 Sedan?

The i30 N is the high-performance version of the Hyundai’s compact i30 hatchback. Now that it has a competitor for the popular Ford Focus ST and the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai is launching an N-prepped version of the i30 Fastback model, basically creating a new niche on the affordable performance car market.

Essentially identical to its hatchback sibling, the i30 N Fastback employs the same aerodynamic package on the outside and the same extra features on the inside. Even the engine is identical, so you will benefit from both tunes if you want a sedan instead of the hatchback. The good news here, besides the diversity factor, is that there’s a chance that the i30 N Fastback might come to the U.S. Until that happens, let’s find out more about its features and performance.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai i30 N Fastback.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Exterior

  • Honeycomb grille
  • Sportier bumpers
  • Bigger vents
  • Black trim
  • Larger exhaust pipes
  • Enhanced aerodynamics
  • New paint options
2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796929
As you might have already guessed, the i30 N Fastback blends the styling cues of the standard fastback model with the beefed-up looks of the N-badged hatchback.

And it looks just as good, despite not having that WRC-inspired appearance that comes with a hatchback rear end.

Up front, we can see the revised bumper with enlarged intakes a red line across the splitter. Hyundai’s familiar cascading defined the nose and adds sportiness thanks to its honeycomb mesh. Down below, we can see the bigger vents from the hatchback model, as well as the revised opening above the splitter. The blacked-out headlamps complete the mean look of the front fascia.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796959

Moving to the sides, we find sportier side skirts, gloss-black mirror caps, and black window trim. The N model sits a few millimeters closer to the ground and rides on bigger, lighter wheels. Hyundai offers a selection of 18- and 19-inch rims, depending on which trim you choose. Of course, for an extra fee, you can have the bigger 19-inch rollers on any of them.

Around back, the Fastback model stands out thanks to its sleeker design compared to the hatchback. However, it boasts similar upgrades. The lower bumper has a more aggressive design with intakes on each side and a red stripe atop the diffuser.

The diffuser-like element has four vertical fins, and it's flanked by bigger exhaust pipes. The trunk lid is finished off with a glossy spoiler that improves aerodynamics.

Color options should be the same for the Fastback and include Clean Slate, Polar White, Micron Grey, Phantom Black, Engine Red, and the exclusive and cool Performance Blue.

2019 Hyundai I30 N Fastback Interior

  • Sportier seats
  • Multi-function steering wheel
  • Dark metal trim
  • Leather upholstery
  • Shift timer
  • Lap time recorder
2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796938

Inside the cabin, N looks very similar to the standard model, but a few upgrades set it apart from the regular Fastback. Obviously, they’re identical to those seen in the i30 N hatchback.

The standard seats have sportier side bolsters for spirited driving, while the unique three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel has extra controls on the left and right.

There’s blue contrast stitching and an N logo on the steering wheel and blue striping on the gearshift boot. Upholstery options are just as varied as on the regular model and include suede, leather, and cloth. The dark metal trim on the dashboard and door panels contributes to the interior’s premium look.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796941
The shift timer at the top of the instrument cluster is another cool feature that speaks volumes of the car's performance-oriented nature.

It also has an LED tachometer to make sure you’re hitting those shift points just right. A lap timer is also included so you can set your own benchmarks on the Nurburgring or any other racing circuit around the world. The eight-inch infotainment display provides additional information on performance, including readouts on G-Force, torque levels, boost pressure, lap timers, and acceleration timers. A 5-inch screen comes as standard.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity for smartphones is standard, but you’ll have to pay extra for the wireless charging feature.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796937

Of course, the sporty interior design doesn’t compromise the everyday usability of the car. Luggage capacity remains generous with 450 liters (15.9 cubic feet) with the rear seats up and 1,351 liters (47.7 cubic feet) when the seats are folded flat.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Performance

  • Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • 246-horsepower base model
  • Upgraded 271-horsepower version
  • 260 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds
  • Top speed at 155 mph
  • Upgraded suspension
  • Manual transmission
2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796934

Just like the hatchback version, the i30 N Fastback is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine offering two levels of tune. Hyundai calls the base drivetrain the Standard Package. In this setup, the four-banger cranks out 250 PS (246 horsepower) and 353 Nm (260 pound-feet of torque).

The top-trim goes by the name Performance Package and boosts output to 275 PS (271 horsepower), but keeps torque levels at the same 353 Nm (260 pound-feet).

The drivetrain also includes an overboost function that adds eight percent more torque and as much as seven percent quicker acceleration, while also engaging the variable exhaust for a louder engine note. Power travels exclusively to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. Good news for you three-pedal enthusiasts, right?

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796935

So how quick is the Fastback? Floor it in the base model, and you’ll get from 0 to 62 mph in 6.4 seconds. That’s just as quick as the hatchback model.

The Performance Package version will get you there notably quicker, in 6.1 clicks. Top speed is limited to 155 mph for both variants.

The i30 N also boasts modern sports car technology like rev-match on downshifts, which can be toggled using a button located on the steering wheel, and Launch Control to maximize off-the-line sprints.

We already know that i30 the "loves corners” from the hatchback and the fastback should retains this characteristic. That’s because it’s equipped with the same stiff roll bar mounted behind the rear seat to keep the chassis rigid and an Electronic Controlled Suspension system that reduces roll dynamics.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796944
Five modes alter the setting of the engine and the transmission, including Eco, Normal, Sport, N, and N Custom.

All of them are selectable from the steering wheel and enable you to use the i30 N Fastback as a regular car or a full-fledged sports car on the track.

Stopping power comes from large 18- and 17-inch rotors and track-ready calipers. The 19-inch wheels offered on the Performance Package are wrapped in Pirelli tires, while the 18-inch rollers feature Michelin rubber.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Pricing

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796961

Pricing information is not yet available, but the Fastback shouldn’t cost more than the hatchback. In the U.K., the latter retails from £25,010, which accounts for an £8,010 premium over the standard i30 five-door. Expect the Fastback to fetch less than £27,000 before options. While the hatchback isn’t available in the U.S., the Fastback could cross the pond to North America at some point.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Competition

Kia Stinger

2018 Kia Stinger High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 734759
More than half of chassis composed of higher-strength steel

I know – we’re way out in left field here. But, in fairness, that’s also right where the Hyundai i30 N Fastback resides. It doesn’t really have any direct competition in price, size, or power. It’s just kind of in a niche all its own. I could compete with the Mercedes-AMG A45 sedan if that ever comes to light, but that will be significantly more expensive. So with that said, we’re looking at the entry-level Kia stinger. That model comes with a 2.0-liter four-banger that’s good for 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. And can be had with rear- or all-wheel drive too. It should be able to make the sprint to 60 in about 6.2 seconds, so that’s right on par with the i30 N and it comes in at an entry-level cost of $31,900 as of the time of this writing. Sure, it’s a little bigger, but the power and price point are close enough for it to count.

Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.

Honda Civic Si Sedan

2018 Honda Civic Si Sedan High Resolution Exterior
- image 712182

Where the Kia Stinger is a bit larger and pricier, the Civic is right around the same size and far less powerful. In fact, the Civic Si, which is the most powerful version of the Civic you can get in sedan form, comes with just 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque on tap. It’s delivered from a 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-banger, and a six-speed manual transmission. With that in mind, the Civic is actually pretty light, and it has a lot of Type R cues going on inside and out, so it certainly looks the part. It’s also priced significantly cheaper at an entry-level cost of $24,100. It won’t win a straight-line race against the i30 N in any way, but it might be able to outmaneuver it on the right track. Either way, you’ll look good and feel good – you just won’t get there as fast or empty the bank quite so much. Is it a fair tradeoff, though?

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Civic Si Sedan.

Final Thoughts

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback
- image 796928

With almost 3,000 units sold in the first half of 2018 in Europe and the 100 units of its First Edition sold out in Germany in just 48 hours, the i30 N is off to a great start on the market, despite stiff competition from carmakers like Ford and Volkswagen. But while the hatchback is certainly going up against some pretty stiff competition, the N Fastback will reside in a niche all its own. You actually have to give praise to Hyundai for even considering it during a point in time when automakers are largely abandoning the sedan market altogether. Most automakers wouldn’t even consider a high-performance or sporty compact sedan, let alone bring one to market. Yet, here we are looking at the cool car that Hyundai has thrown into this empty market. And, since there’s nothing else that really competes directly, it could put the automaker in a position to make some serious headway as far as sales are concerned. It will be interesting to see what happens once the i30 N Fastback comes into dealerships.

  • Leave it
    • U.S. availability unknown
    • No direct competitors for cross-shopping

Further reading

2018 Hyundai i30 N Exterior High Resolution
- image 723132

Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.

2018 Hyundai i30 Fastback Exterior High Resolution
- image 723922

Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 Fastback.

2017 Hyundai i30 High Resolution Exterior
- image 687485

Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30.

Shortly before its official world premiere at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the All-New i30 Fastback N has already crossed the finishing line in Paris in a record-breaking road trip starting in Rome. The professional Hyundai Motorsport drivers Thierry Neuville and Gabriele Tarquini set a world record with the first five-door hot coupe in the C-segment but there was a twist….Neuville and Tarquini pushed the car to its limits – not by driving from the Italian to the French capital, but on the winding roads between Rome and Paris, located in western Denmark. Sitting behind the i30 Fastback N’s steering wheel, it took Tarquini only 8:18.49 minutes to cover the 12.8km distance between the Danish villages, winning the race by a fraction of a second. Neuville, who is currently leading the WRC drivers’ championship, and motorsport legend Tarquini, with more than 25 years of racing experience, were the perfect team on this closed road as they showcased the power of the high-performance coupe in a short film.

The All-New i30 Fastback N is Hyundai’s second high-performance model in Europe. It follows the i30 N five-door hatchback, which has created an unprecedented success story since its market launch, exceeding initial sales expectations. Almost 3,000 i30 N five-door hatchback units were sold in the first half of 2018 in Europe. 100 units of its First Edition sold out in Germany in just 48 hours.

“With the All-New i30 Fastback N, Hyundai again sets new standards in the market, enhancing the brand’s appeal with highly emotional products,” says Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President Marketing and Product at Hyundai Motor Europe. “With the new hot coupe our customers will enjoy the same driving fun of i30N packaged in the car’s beautiful GT like shape wherever they drive!”

Elegant and hot design character
To reflect its sophisticated and hot character, the All-New i30 Fastback N has received many design features of its five-door hatchback sibling. On the exterior, the elegant i30 Fastback shape has been merged with the dynamic features of the i30 N five-door hatchback. As a result, the i30 Fastback N showcases a dynamic-looking N Grille and the N front bumper, as well as a unique rear bumper, both of which are highlighted by a red character line below. The black side sill of the lowered body further underlines the model’s sportiness. Moreover, the rear features the dual twin muffler exhaust and a generously arched rear spoiler that is integrated into the tailgate. To highlight the rear spoiler, a glossy black accent has been inserted to further emphasise the specific N appearance.

The All-New i30 Fastback N’s interior design is clean and sleek. Its centrepiece is the exclusive N steering wheel, manufactured with the characteristic red-coloured N stitching. As part of the coherent colour design, the red stitching is picked up on other parts of the i30 Fastback N’s interior, for example on the gear shift and the seats. The sporty interior design does not compromise the everyday usability: for example, luggage capacity is generous with 450 litres, increasing to 1,351 litres when seats are folded flat.

High-performance engine for a sporty ride
Customers can choose between two power outputs of the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, which was first introduced in the i30 N five-door hatchback (UK market will only take the i30 Fastback N Performance model). The Standard engine delivers 250 PS (fuel consumption combined: 7.0 l/100 km; CO2 combined: 159 g/km*), while the Performance model generates a maximum power of 275 PS (fuel consumption combined: 7.1 l/100 km; CO2 combined: 163 g/km*). Both outputs deliver a maximum torque of 353 Nm and reach a maximum speed of 250 km/h. The overboost function further increases torque up to 378 Nm. It is activated when reaching the maximum torque. The 250 PS version accelerates to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds*, the 275 PS version in 6.1 seconds*. Furthermore, the All-New i30 N Fastback is equipped with the N Grin Control system which allows drivers to choose from five different drive modes. The settings can be selected via dedicated buttons on the steering wheel: Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom. Depending on the driver’s mood, the different modes change the vehicle’s character.

Inspired by motor sport, the Hyundai N range was derived from the company’s successful participation in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and the Touring Car Racing (TCR) International series. The N line-up was born in Namyang, Hyundai Motor’s global R&D Centre in Korea, and further developed and tested at the Nürburgring, home to Hyundai Motor’s European Test Centre.

Smart connectivity features and top standard active safety
The instrument panel of the All-New i30 Fastback N, designed in a horizontal layout to convey an elegant impression, is available with an eight-inch capacitive touch screen which delivers navigation and a seven-year free subscription to LIVE services. It also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allow users to connect their smartphones with the car to control music, telephone or navigation functions on-screen. The specific N mode screen menu also offers customisable settings for the engine, Rev matching, exhaust sound and Performance settings.

The All-New i30 Fastback N features Hyundai SmartSense active safety and driving assistance technologies complying with the highest European safety standards: Autonomous Emergency Braking (standard), Driver Attention Alert (standard), Lane Keeping Assist (standard) and High Beam Assist (standard).

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: