The Hyundai i30 N Fastback was spotted in prototype form being put through the paces. It will be the second model to be worked over by Hyundai’s new N division (the i30 N Hatchback was the first) and will even feature the same engine and design cues. It will be much sportier than the standard fastback and should offer as much as 275 horsepower, all of which will be channeled through a six-speed manual transmission.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Exterior

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Spyshots Exterior
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The i30 N Fastback is sporting a similar look to the i30 N Hatchback, including the larger, stand-alone intakes in the corners, and a true-to-life air dam sitting between them

We have received two sets of spy shots. The first set depicts the Fastback in very early prototype form while the second set shows it much closer to being production ready. Of course, it’s still in full camo, so don’t expect it to debut tomorrow. As you can see, however, Hyundai engineers decided to put it to the test on the track which means it’s far enough along for some serious high-speed, high-maneuverability training. That means it’s in the final steps of testing before the camo comes off and we get to feast on what lies beneath.

With that in mind, the i30 N Fastback is sporting a similar look to the i30 N Hatchback, including the larger, stand-alone intakes in the corners, and a true-to-life air dam sitting between them. There’s no telling whether or not those corner intakes actually feed air toward the brakes, but the air dam does feed air to into the engine bay. On that note, it also looks as if the front fascia of the fastback will vary just a bit compared to the hatchback, which means it will have its own look up front – even if it does feature the same grille, headlights, and hood.

The side profile won’t stand out much from the standard road-going fastback, but it does feature wider side skirts that stand out just a bit. They appear to feature the same design and contour of those found on the i30N hatchback. In combination with these, there are also larger wheels in the mix to go with noticeably larger brakes and larger red calipers.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Spyshots Exterior
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We make out the typical N exhaust outlets – big and extended – but it also looks like there could be a bit of a lip spoiler in the rear

The rear end is also largely the same as the outgoing model, but we also can’t rely on the i30 N hatchback for design cues either. We make out the typical N exhaust outlets – big and extended – but it also looks like there could be a bit of a lip spoiler in the rear. We’re not expecting this to be any type of active aero or even to affect downforce at all, so it’ll probably be mainly aesthetic. Nothing is out of the question, though, so keep an open mind as we move closer to its debut.

2019 Hyundai I30 N Fastback Interior

2018 Hyundai i30 N Interior High Resolution
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Interior from 2018 Hyundai i30 N Hatchback shown here.
The i30 N Fastback will largely mirror the non-N model

Much like the i30 N Hatchback, the i30 N Fastback will largely mirror the non-N model. It will feature the same horizontally oriented dash with a floating touchscreen display. You’ll find the typical navigation system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It should also receive a free subscription to LIVE services to provide information about weather, traffic, speed cameras, and points of interest. Rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, USB connectivity, and a wireless charging pad should all be standard equipment for the N model.

For the N model, you would think that Hyundai would include the larger eight-inch display, but it comes standard with the seven-inch model. The eight-inch screen does remain as an option. On the plus side, the semi-digital instrument cluster, with a 4.2-inch vertically oriented screen does come standard. Between the two, you can get information on torque levels, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration times, and G-Force readings.

2018 Hyundai i30 N Interior High Resolution
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2018 Hyundai i30 N Interior High Resolution
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Naturally, you’ll get the three-spoke N steering wheel with the integrated thumb buttons to control driving models and browse through the pages of the in-cluster menu. Blue contrast stitching will hold the leather wheel together as well as the armrest on the center console. It will also come standard with the sport seats that offer thicker and more supportive side bolsters. These aren’t full leather, though so the inserts in the center are fabric as standard with the side bolsters being wrapped in leather. Full leather should be available as an option. All safety features, such as lane keep assist, drive assistance alert, and high-beam assist, among others, should be available as optional equipment as well.

For the record, the i30 N Hatchback came with an electronic sound generator, so you can expect the Fastback to include the same.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Performance

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Spyshots Exterior
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As the story continues, you’ll find that the i30 N Fastback offers the same performance credentials as the i30 N Hatchback

As the story continues, you’ll find that the i30 N Fastback offers the same performance credentials as the I30 N Hatchback. In standard form, you’ll get the 2.0-liter T-GDI tuned to deliver 246 horsepower (250ps) and 260 pound-feet of torque (353nm.) If you want a little something more, you can opt for the Performance Package which ups the horsepower to 271 ponies (275ps) and the same 260 pound-feet of torque. It should also come standard with the overboost function which Hyundai claims will add eight-percent more torque and seven-percent quicker acceleration. A six-speed manual transmission should be standard on the N Fastback, but it wouldn’t be beyond Hyundai to offer up an automatic with paddle shifters.

The i30 N Hatchback can hit 62.1 mph in 6.4 seconds, with the performance package offering the same sprint in 6.1 seconds. But, this is where there’s a bit of mystery in play as we have no standard sprint times to go by for the non-N model. The Fastback should be a bit heavier than the hatchback, though, so expect it to be just a tad slower to 60, even with the Performance Package. Top speed, however, should carry over to the Fastback model at 155 mph, so it’ll be a quick little compact for what it’s worth. Expect to find rev-matching and launch control as standard features to help you drive it the right way; you know, since nobody knows how to double clutch or correctly launch anymore.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Pricing

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Spyshots Exterior
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Pricing at this point is all speculation, but over in Australia, the Hatchback Performance Package will set you back AUD $39,990, or just over $30,000 at current exchange rates. You can probably expect a similar price for the Fastback model, however – like the Hatchback – it probably won’t come stateside.

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback Competition

Kia Stinger

2018 Kia Stinger High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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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
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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 Spyshots Exterior
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The Hyundai i30 Hatchback is certainly going to find itself up against some pretty stiff competition, but the N Fastback, on the other hand, 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 clear-cut evidence that Hyundai is going to step 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 to market. Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming compact performance sedan.

  • Leave it
    • * Still a while to wait for it to come to market
    • * Probably won’t come to the U.S.
    • * No direct competitors for cross-shopping

References

2018 Hyundai i30 N Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.

2018 Hyundai i30 Fastback Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 Fastback.

2017 Hyundai i30 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30.

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Read more Hyundai news.

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