“An N car is an N car,”said European engineering boss Klaus Köster. “We want an N car to stand for everything N stands for: it’s made for cornering and driver fun.”
Köster added that a number of minor changes to the suspension had been made when developing the new car — including work on the bump stops, hydraulics and anti-roll bar settings — with the target to make it “more rounded in some areas and a bit more playful”.
"The i30 N hatchback has been really successful, and worked very well, so we did not have to change much for this car," added Köster. “But Albert Biermann [Hyundai N division boss] always says there is nothing that cannot be improved."
The ‘N’ drive mode setting has also been tweaked. Köster said that the goal was “to bring it back a little”, although he promised that the car was still stiff enough to offer “extreme” performance on a circuit. He added: "It's a balancing act, and we've balanced performance and comfort for the customer."
In time, Köster says those minor changes will be introduced on the i30 N hot hatch.
The Fastback is marginally heavier than the hot hatch while producing less drag. Köster hadded that car’s settings have been mildly modified to offer the same balance and handling as the regular i30 N.
In terms of exterior design, the car features the same front end as the hot hatch, with a bespoke grille and bumper compared with those fitted to standard i30 derivatives. The rear is a new design specifically for the N model, featuring sculpted exhausts and diffuser, and an aerodynamic spoiler on the boot lid. A triangular central fog-light mimics the similarly shaped third brake light on the hot hatch, to set a design 'signature' for the N brand.
As with the regular i30 N, standard cars get 18in wheels, with 19in versions on the Performance trim. The Fastback also has a larger boot, at 450 litres, compared with the hot hatch’s 395 litres.
Pricing for the i30 Fastback N has yet to be confirmed, but it is expected that, as with the standard Fastback, there will be a small increase over the hatch. That means a price of just over £29,000 for the Performance variant is expected.
Analysis: how Hyundai N is preparing for its halo car
Second Hyundai N performance model due in 2018
Hyundai i30 N review