Here we have it, a fully fleshed out range of Hyundai’s third-generation i30 following the reveal of the now-on-sale 5-door hatch, later joined by the i30 Wagon, and now capped off with this Fastback which will be available starting early next year.
Unsurprisingly, its new rear end and sloping roofline treatment have transformed it into a car that resembles Hyundai’s IONIQ. We’re even seeing some suggestions of BMW’s new 6 Series Gran Turismo and Mercedes-Benz GLC/GLE Coupe in there. They’re even calling this a 4 door coupe. Truly, the waters are being muddied as to what the dividing lines are between a Liftback, Fastback, 4-door coupe, 5-door coupe. In this case, this i30 is labelled as a 5-door coupe that’s also, evidently, a Fastback.
“The i30 Fastback is a real game-changer. We are the first volume brand to enter the compact segment with a stylish and sophisticated 5-door coupe,” explains Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer at Hyundai Design Centre Europe. “When designing the i30 Fastback we played with the proportions of the i30 range by reducing the height of the Cascading Grille and lowering the roof line. The elegant silhouette is further emphasised by the generously arched rear spoiler shape. Our team was able to achieve a pure design, which combines the sports car spirit with the comfort of a luxurious sedan. With this innovative approach to compact cars, we enable our customers to make an expressive statement when driving the i30 Fastback.”
Clearly, they’re rather proud about introducing a mass market car with a body style that is usually reserved for more premium makes, making the stylish form factor another selling point of their still-new i30. Of all the volume manufacturers out there, only Volkswagen can be pointed to as capitalising on style/desirability over practicality - the latest expression of this being the Passat-derived Arteon. Ironically, that car is aimed at a legitimately premium spread of rivals.
Presumably, the i30 Fastback range will be kept uniform with that of the hatch, having matching grades and powertrain options. In Australia, this means a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol, a 1.6-litre turbodiesel, and a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol arranged over an entry-level Active, mid-range Elite and SR, and the range-topping Premium and SR Premium.
In Europe, however, the i30 is offered with a broader powertrain spectrum that the our market have yet to receive for a variety of reasons. There, the Fastback’s engine line-up will start with a 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre turbocharged petrols.
The boot itself is smaller and less versatile than the 5-door hatch and much less so than the Wagon variant. To achieve this look, Hyundai have had to lengthen it overall to 1,425mm (115mm more than the hatch).
Like its more evocative name, the Fastback is aimed at a crowd that cares more about good handling. As such, the standard suspension tune is firmer (by 15 percent) than that of the hatch as well as being 30mm lower. Hyundai say the Fastback’s dynamics have been refined at the Nurburgring to squeeze out those extra drops of deftness over the hatch, before receiving the final sign off.
It will quite likely be positioned above the hatch and wagon variants of the i30, corresponding to a slight but not insubstantial premium across each grade. Hyundai says that European versions will come with a comprehensive array of convenience and pre-collision safety tech as standard, such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.
There are also firm plans to expand the portfolio of their high-performance N Division to include a two-door version of the i30 N that’s based on this Fastback. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the shape of this new car, its design may not be as dramatic as we were expecting. Fingers crossed that this isn’t the case.