THE FORCE IS STRONG - Hyundai i30 Fastback N

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Following the i30 N and the recently unveiled Veloster N, Hyundai has added a third N model to their growing performance brand's line-up with the new i30 Fastback N.

The car sports a five-door fastback body style, much like an Audi A7, albeit far more compact. As you would imagine, its mechanicals are identical to that in the i30 N hatch, and is available in two derivatives with both being powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged motor - a 184kw standard version, and a 202kw Performance Package. In both cases, the motor produces 353nm, whilst an overboost function takes it to 378nm.

Power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission - the only gearbox on offer. While the standard model of the Fastback N needs 6.4 seconds to hit 100kph from a standstill, the Performance Package variant one cuts three tenths of a second to complete the dash in only 6.1 seconds. Flat out, both will reach a top speed of 250kph.

As with the i30 N, the Fastback version is equipped with the N Grin Control system that allows drivers to choose from five different drive modes -  Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom. These driving modes can be selected via the steering wheel, and change the character of the car, by adjusting the parameters of the engine, the dampers, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), N Corner Carving Differential, engine sound, steering and Rev matching.

There’s launch control too. And like its hot hatch sibling, it features an Electronic Sound Generator, which provides the occupants of the i30 Fastback N with a real high-performance experience, a sporty engine sound. In the cabin, at the base of the windscreen, is an engine sound generator which provides some extra acoustic drama to match the mood of the driver. The interior is focused on connecting the driver with the car at all touch points. The concept is dedicated to the people who truly love cars. The Fastback N features uniquely designed high-performance sport seats with significant lumbar support.

As you would expect, it looks very similar to the i30 N hatch, with the rear being the only real difference. Here it gets a redesigned rear bumper with an integrated diffuser housing twin pipes, whilst a slim gloss black boot spoiler further hints at its sportiness. As with all N models, the car was tuned and tested at the Nurburgring, so expect handling to be stellar.

The i30 Fastback is expected to bow at next week's Paris Motor Show, and even though it’s early days, don't expect Hyundai SA to bring it to South Africa.

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