The 2019 Hyundai i30 Fastback N
The Hyundai i30 Fastback N has landed in Australia as the second offering from the Hyundai N Performance Division.
Developed from the acclaimed i30 N hot-hatch, the i30 Fastback N’s sleek five-door coupe body style marks a first in the small high-performance car segment.
Beneath the classy silhouette, which brings a seven percent aerodynamic drag reduction compared with the hatch, the i30 Fastback N boasts a new, N suspension tune teamed with the high-performance qualities as its sibling, including a 202kW, 353Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
i30 Fastback N owners also benefit from a factory warranty that covers non-competitive racetrack driving, and the fitment of high-performance semi-slick tyres.
The i30 Fastback N’s new, global chassis tune is the result of extensive European testing and development centred at the Hyundai Motor Europe Nürburgring Test Centre, with Australian engineering input both in Germany and on our challenging urban and country roads.
The i30 Fastback N is involving, controlled and comfortable, and equally at home on the track and the road.
The i30 Fastback N arrives soon after Hyundai’s success in the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) securing both drivers’ and teams’ championships with the dominant i30 N TCR race car.
An all-round performer, the i30 Fastback N offers 1,944 permutations of driver-selectable options allowing it to be tailored to the driver and conditions – playing the practical, comfortable and economical daily drive or the fire-breathing, focused high-performance car at the press of a button.
Like its hot-hatch sibling, the i30 Fastback N is offered in a single 202kW Performance model, grade starting at $41,990 MLP.
The full complement of driver focused technology is standard. In addition the i30 Fastback N can be personalised with a choice from a pair of option packs – the Luxury Pack ($3,000) and the Luxury Pack with Panoramic Sunroof ($5,000).
“The i30 N set new benchmarks for both the compact high-performance car and for Hyundai Motor Company, with its acclaimed arrival last year. Now, the i30 Fastback N joins as the second in our N Performance series, to give driving enthusiasts the choice of a uniquely sleek and sophisticated high-performance coupe,” HMCA Chief Executive Officer Mr. JW Lee said.
Standard i30 Fastback N features include an active variable exhaust system, electronically controlled adaptive suspension, an electro-mechanical limited-slip differential, and a launch control function. An overboost capability lifts torque output to 378Nm at full throttle for up to 18 seconds.
Styling highlights include 19-inch alloy wheels fitted with specially developed Pirelli P-Zero HN tyres, and an aerodynamically functional full body kit.
The sports theme is carried over to the interior, which includes sports front seats, a leather-appointed steering wheel, alloy sports pedals, N race computer and instrument panel-mounted shift lights.
i30 Fastback N: In Detail
The i30 Fastback N – the second Australian offering from Hyundai’s N Performance Division – was born at Hyundai Motor Company’s Namyang Global R&D Centre and honed for superb handling on the Nürburgring Nordschleife as well as here in Australia.
Developed on the same new generation i30 platform that underpins the scorching i30 N hatchback, the i30 Fastback deftly balances driver thrills and involvement with everyday practicality, wrapped in an eye-catching five-door coupe exterior.
The i30 Fastback N is an appealing and affordable package that’s in its element tackling a track day, yet is equally at home on a twisty country road, or a spirited drive to the shops.
Designed to be Driven; Engineered to Involve
The i30 Fastback’s five-door monocoque provides the ideal basis for a compact high-performance car. The strong, light structure utilises 51 percent in-house developed ultra-high strength steel, making it inherently rigid, to benefit both occupant safety and handling performance. An N Specific rear stiffening bar between the rear damper top mounts, behind the rear seats, increases body rigidity by six percent.
Independent McPherson Struts at the front and independent multi-links at the rear provide the fundamentals for the i30 Fastback N’s performance-focused chassis.
The i30 Fastback N features an adaptive-damper based Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) that automatically monitors and optimises wheel and body control to maximise tyre contact while minimising pitch and roll for enhanced cornering.
In addition, the system allows the driver to adjust the suspension across a broad spectrum from comfort to racetrack modes via the 8.0-inch touchscreen.
Specially developed, high-performance Pirelli P-Zero HN tyres measuring 235/35 R19 are fitted to the i30 Fastback N’s light, 19-inch alloy wheels to deliver immense cornering grip.
A rack-mounted, motor-driven power steering system features in the i30 Fastback N, considered to be the electric power steering state of the art for maximum driver feedback and involvement.
An electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip differential (E-LSD) ensures the efficient application of power to the road, to benefit standing start and corner exit acceleration as well as corner speed.
A ‘Sport’ mode as part of a specific electronic stability control (ESC) calibration gives the driver greater scope to enjoy the chassis abilities before the system intervenes. In ‘N’ or ‘N Custom’ modes the driver has the option to fully deactivate the ESC system, as well as allowing left-foot braking, for racetrack driving.
High Performance Chassis Development
The i30 Fastback N features a new, global chassis tune developed by the Hyundai Motor Company High Performance Vehicle Division.
During testing and development the team, centred at the Hyundai Motor Europe Nürburgring Test Centre, and comprising German, Korean and Australian engineering staff, identified some beneficial chassis changes.
Reduced roll stiffness across the front axle brought broad benefits to handling, ride and power-down.
“We provided that input to the High Performance Vehicle Development team along with very similar feedback from the Korean engineers and the German engineers, along with some other data captured during the tune both in Europe and in Australia,” Hyundai Product Planning Senior Manager Andrew Tuitahi said.
“We identified that a softer front-end would help with sharper turn in, better mid-corner adjustability, greater playfulness and also power-down even with the [electronically controlled mechanical limited-slip] diff,” he said.
“The car can be more playful now. You can induce rear steer; lift-off oversteer. The nose tucks that bit harder, and you can now get on a little earlier; a little harder, and have better grip from the front axle,” he said. “Just having that inside wheel a little softer definitely helps put the power down.”
The refined chassis settings also bring improvement to occupant comfort. “Ride comfort improves too, especially on rolling bumps and offset bumps; single-wheel inputs,” Mr Tuitahi added.
The hardware changes at the front axle include new springs five percent softer than those beneath the i30 N hatchback, revised front dampers now featuring a rebound spring, and longer, softer bump stops. The front anti-roll bar diameter is reduced by 0.8mm.
At the rear, revised dampers and the adoption of a new camber-control arm complete the changes.
The i30 Fastback N is 12kg heavier over the rear axle, which translates to a weight distribution of 59.7 percent front, 40.3 percent rear, a small difference from the i30 hatchback’s 61.8/38.2.
In addition to the hardware changes, a revised logic tune for the adaptive dampers broadens the chassis character change from one drive mode to another.
“A lot of the roll control can be influenced with the dampers – we can choose to nullify or exaggerate the fundamental character of the chassis, he explained.
“Now, N mode is much more playful on a race track, than Sport mode or Normal,” he said. “There is greater roll control across the rear axle to help induce playfulness, there’s a lot more anti-squat and in some instances no anti-lift on the front to help put that power down and induce playfulness in the rear.”
The calibration was honed on the Nordschleife and on the roads surrounding the Nürburgring, as well as spot-checked by the HMCA engineering team on Australia’s uniquely challenging urban and country roads, before being finalised on the road in Germany.
The i30 Fastback N, as the newest N Performance offering, ushers in the new global chassis tune, which will be adopted by the i30 N hatchback during 2019 to unify the Australian N Performance line-up.
A Powerful Package
The i30 Fastback N is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which drives the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and an electro-mechanical limited-slip differential (E-LSD).
The Theta-II T-GDI unit features double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, twin-scroll turbocharging, continuously variable valve control and direct fuel injection.
The 1998cc in-line four-cylinder produces a peak power output of 202 kW at 6000rpm, and a maximum torque of 353Nm from 1450 to 4700rpm, which propel the five-door coupe from rest to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds and on to a 250 km/h electronically limited maximum speed. A turbocharger overboost function is activated when maximum torque is reached, lifting the torque peak to 378 Nm for up to 18 seconds.
The short-throw, six-speed manual transmission is strengthened and fitted with carbon synchromesh rings to reduce shift effort, allowing for quick and smooth gear shifting.
The sophisticated i30 Fastback N’s underlying high-performance focus is conveyed by exclusive aerodynamic design elements, such as aggressively styled front and rear bumpers, side skirts, a boot-lip spoiler and a diffuser-style lower rear treatment.
Form followed function in the penning of the sleek and low five-door, the N designers working with aerodynamic specialists to deftly balance downforce, drag and cooling.
The lowered ride height and new aerodynamic features combine to give i30 Fastback N a strong stance and a dynamic silhouette, as well as enhancing its high-speed stability and overall high-performance capability.
As a sleek and sophisticated five-door coupe, the i30 Fastback N marks a first in the compact high-performance class.
A focus on both aesthetics and aerodynamics gave rise to a body that is 120mm longer and 21mm lower compared with the i30 N hatchback, with a drag coefficient reduced by seven percent, at 0.297 Cd (0.320 Cd hatch).
At the front a familiar N-embossed Cascading Grille, red character line and black bezel headlights draw a link between the Fastback and its N Performance hatch sibling.
Large air inlets at each side of the lower bumper enhance brake cooling and aid aerodynamics and are crowned by LED daytime running light strips.
Air curtains are incorporated behind the Cascading Grille and add to the vehicle’s performance by enhancing airflow and reducing wind turbulence in the wheel housings, as well as increasing engine cooling.
The i30 Fastback N’s side profile features enlarged wheel arch openings which accommodate N-specific 19-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers with the ‘N’ logo, a black side sill and gloss black exterior mirror housings.
At the rear, a spoiler and an aggressive bumper design underline a dynamic image, highlighted by a gloss black boot-lip spoiler. The lower rear incorporates a diffuser design and a reflective lower character line.
Completing the dynamic image is a unique triangular rear fog lamp is integrated in between the twin exhaust tailpipes.