SHARE
With the i30 Fastback N, Hyundai gets into a fight that is not quite easy to win. Other competitors are the Volkswagen GTi and the Renault Megan RS.

With the i30 Fastback N, Hyundai gets into a fight that is not quite easy to win. Other competitors are the Volkswagen GTi and the Renault Megan RS.

Hyundai i30 Fastback N — Simple yet so Perfect

There are many fun ways of building cars. One of the more difficult ones is when you choose to go with front-wheel drive. Enliven tested this hot-headed Korean machine on Gran Canaria.

What is new with i30 Fastback N is the semi-hatch version. It has also become a little nicer in N Custom mode.

What is new with i30 Fastback N is the semi-hatch version. It has also become a little nicer in N Custom mode.

On a private, closed road, the i30 Fastback N proves itself to be a colorful character despite its rather bland blue-gray paint job.

On a private, closed road, the i30 Fastback N proves itself to be a colorful character despite its rather bland blue-gray paint job.

All car brands with some self-respect have a sportier line of models. Hyundai is of course not inferior and introduced its N-line as a concept at Frankfurt's Car Convention 2007. The first model to roll out on the roads was the Golf GTi Challenger i30 N. Now a new version of the same model has been released, but with a semi-hatch body.

“The recipe is simple: turbo-driven engine, front wheel drive and manual box”

A recipe that is hard to accomplish without sacrificing enjoyment behind the wheel — above all for front-wheel-driven motor vehicles suffering from so-called “torque-steer”. In plain English, this means that the car gets choppy forward movement at full acceleration because it gets difficult to distribute force into the road in a controlled manner. A yardstick for a car successful in this category is the Renault Megan RS. Incredibly nice balance, steering and virtually no torque-steer at all.

The engine of the Hyundai i30 Fastback N is a turbo-powered two-liter machine with 275 horsepower. There is also a weaker version with 250hp, but the one we tried is the former, with the optional extra “Performance”. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a manual six-speed box. The i30 Fastback N is not available in automatic or with a double clutch box — another reason why it is so fun. Certainly, it would be comfortable with a double clutch box but the sporty feeling of driving a car with a good manual gearbox is not comparable.

In addition, Hyundai has been kind enough to put in a function that gives intermediate gas during downshifts to ensure that the revs match up with the selected gear (“rev-matching”). Something else you would otherwise need to execute with the toe-and-heel technique, which few drivers today can do with virtually everyone driving automatics.

In addition to having the i30 Fastback N on a small but very fun track adjacent to the airport, a private road has also been closed for our disposal. Here the car really gets let loose. On the winding roads up along the cliff side and then down to the water again, we get the opportunity to without fear of traffic or police, get to know what the car is made of. And it really is impressive what Hyundai has succeeded in doing. The car is incredibly nice and well-balanced. The fact that it is such a fantastic machine is no coincidence; the i30 Fastback N is equipped with an electronic differential, the so-called “E-LSD”, which helps distribute the power between the wheels.

“Hyundai has always had a hand in racing, giving them precious experience”

To optimize the driving experience there are, as with so many other cars, different driving modes. Hyundai calls it their “Grind-Control System”. With the button on the dial you can choose between Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom. In the latter you have the maximum driving experience of the i30 Fastback N.

If I had a passion for sporty and fun cars with front-wheel drive, the choice between a Megan RS or i30 Fastback N would be difficult. That Hyundai's getting into the competition with this kind of car is really fun, especially when considering that you see less and less of its kind.

 

Hyundai i30 Fastback N

Starting price: from SEK 324,900.
Engine: 2
liter four with turbo, 275 hp. Torque 335 Nm.
Power transmission: front engine, 6-speed manual, front wheel drive.
Acceleration: 0-100 in 6.1 sec. Top speed: 250 km / h.
Petrol consumption (mixed driving) according to the manufacturer: 0.71 L / mil.
Weight: 1509 kg.

The landscape of Gran Canaria is dramatic but incredibly beautiful - words that also describe the i30 Fastback N.

The landscape of Gran Canaria is dramatic but incredibly beautiful - words that also describe the i30 Fastback N.

Tight corners are happily taken behind the steering wheel of i30 Fastback N. The electronic differential distributes the power between the front wheels for maximum grip.

Tight corners are happily taken behind the steering wheel of i30 Fastback N. The electronic differential distributes the power between the front wheels for maximum grip.

Just as on the outside, certain interior details are in a characteristic red.

Just as on the outside, certain interior details are in a characteristic red.

On the right side of the steering wheel is the button for the various driving programs. N Custom is the sportiest and unleashes all the power and performance.

On the right side of the steering wheel is the button for the various driving programs. N Custom is the sportiest and unleashes all the power and performance.

The manual six-speed box is a joy to work with, the car’s rev-matching gives it a tough and sporty feeling.

The manual six-speed box is a joy to work with, the car’s rev-matching gives it a tough and sporty feeling.

The crown jewel of the i30 Fastback N is a turbo-powered two-liter machine with 275 HP that takes you from 0 to 100 in 6.1 seconds.

The crown jewel of the i30 Fastback N is a turbo-powered two-liter machine with 275 HP that takes you from 0 to 100 in 6.1 seconds.

i30 N was the first standard car out of Hyundai's new N-line  Fastback is the second, and more are on the way.

i30 N was the first standard car out of Hyundai's new N-line  Fastback is the second, and more are on the way.

ARTICLE CREATORS
Photographer, Writer
Automotive
I started my true photo career with skateboarding. My friend and I liked to take pictures of each other doing tricks. Before I knew it, I was working with Swedish skateboard magazines. After a couple of years in art and photography schools, I established my company, James Holm Fotograf.
read more
MORE FROM Science & Technology