Torque (Singapore) - - I30 N HYUNDAI -

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

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