Hyundai has widened its Performance N range in Europe with a second body shape of the rather excellent i30 N. Adding to the standard hatch, the sleeker Fastback N is 115mm longer and features tweaked suspension and chassis tuning, which will also be spread to MY19 versions of the hatch, too. It goes on sale on 21 January, with prices starting from £29,995.
Sharing the same two-tier range strategy as the hatchback, both 247bhp standard and 272bhp Performance models will be available, sharing the same turbocharged 2-litre ‘Delta’ four-cylinder engine, with corresponding performance-enhancing spec on the latter.
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This means the Performance model will pick up the electronically controlled limited-slip differential, larger Pirelli P Zero rubber wrapped around 19-inch wheels and the same brilliant valved performance exhaust. Performance figures are identical to the hatch, reaching 62mph in 6.4 and 6.1sec for the standard and Performance models respectively.
The engine is also unchanged from the standard car, with the fat mid-range of torque making the front tyres and that clever diff work for traction. It also has the same touring car-like exhaust pops and bangs that help make the standard hatch such a laugh. The i30 N’s driver modes are also intact, giving drivers the ability to really fine tune their preferences into the car, something that went down very well with our Fast Fleet i30 N hatchback.
Those aforementioned suspension changes include slightly softer front suspension, helping improve turn-in and front-end traction. The extra 115mm of length is all beyond the rear axle, too, subtly shifting the weight bias slightly further back. Whether this change, in combination with that slackened-off front axle, makes the i30 N Fastback even more of a riot remains to be seen.
The i30 N’s subtle, yet menacing styling has also been brought across, with a polished lip spoiler giving the sloping tailgate a little more shape and aggression than standard i30 Fastback models. If you were worried that it would lose its nifty triangular third brake light, don’t fret, as the rear fog light now sits in the lower bumper with the same rally-inspired shape – a clever detail. Inside, the hatch’s pale blue stitching has given way to red, although the Hyundai’s hero colour is still available outside if you so wish.