ANOTHER N IN THE WORKS
There was an unexpected bonus at the Nurburgring, where I was to test the i30 N hatchback – a preview drive of the i30 N Fastback prototype, which will make its world premiere in November.
I drove the undisguised i30 N hatchback and disguised i30 N Fastback, one after the other, on the roads surrounding Nurburgring after the track session.
The Fastback variant is as entertaining as its hatchback sibling, if a bit more supple and resolved in its repertoire. While the hatchback is lively and a little aggressive, the Fastback is more mellow, and more sophisticated in its ride and handling. It feels even more positive than the already impressive i30 N hatchback.
I prefer the i30 N Fastback, by a whisker. But it’s still a prototype at this stage, so there are several caveats. I was told by the Hyundai engineers present that they brought the car to the Nurburgring to confirm the final settings for the steering, chassis and suspension.
This is good news, because the i30 N Fastback potentially fills a niche of the market currently occupied by the Audi S3 Sedan and, at the extreme end of the segment, the Mercedes-AMG CLA45. The Hyundai should be able to undercut the two German rockets by a significant margin. – DR ANDRE LAM