Sleek version of the Korean manufacturer's 271bhp hot hatch will use the same powertrain and other key components

Hyundai is developing a fastback version of its i30N hot hatch. The model is expected to go on sale at the start of next year.

Spotted in Scandinavia during cold-weather testing, the sleek five-door i30N Fastback can be seen rolling on the same 19in wheels and sporting the same twin-exit exhaust system as its sibling.

This is because the fastback will use the same mechanicals and powertrain as the current i30N hot hatch. That means it will offer two power outputs from its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine: 247bhp for the standard variant and 271bhp for the version equipped with the optional N Performance Pack.

Both variants will be front-wheel drive and are expected to come with a six-speed manual gearbox, like the existing hatchback model. Despite the change in body shape, the fastback’s performance will likely be near identical to the hatchback’s, meaning 0-62mph time of about 6.1sec for the 271bhp version.

Hyundai N division boss Albert Biermann, who joined the firm from BMW’s M division, oversees chassis development for all of Hyundai’s models, but is known to have most influence over its hottest cars. Biermann encourages a more playful setup on his models, so this will no doubt remain a target for the i30N Fastback.

Biermann told Autocar last year that the i30N models would be effective track machines. He said “There are too many cars out there with tyres and brakes that go [off] too fast [on circuit]”, but that Hyundai “really wanted to make a car that can be consistent”.

Biermann confirmed that his team used extensive testing stints at the Nürburgring, which included competing in last year's 24-hour race there, to boost the durability of the i30N platform. He said that such methods directly helped to improve the car’s clutch and shift operation, as well as brake cooling.

The i30N Fastback will also use Hyundai’s electronically controlled damping, which constantly adjusts each damper independently to maximise performance in the sportiest modes, or be more forgiving in softer modes. These modes also adjust the car’s electronic limited slip differential (E-LSD).

The i30N Fastback’s unique selling point will centre directly on its sleek design. Market trends suggest that it will sell in lower volumes than the regular hatchback, although it is also likely to have a higher price which will affect this.

The regular i30 Fastback, which comes with 1.0-litre or 1.4-litre petrol engines, starts at £20,305 in SE Nav form, which is £500 more than the equivalent i30 hatch. A similar jump is therefore likely with the i30N Fastback, meaning it could start from about £25,500.

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