According to Hyundai, the i30 Fastback is the first five-door coupe in the small car segment, though in reality the Korean company has simply revisited the liftback school of design made popular by Japanese hatches in the 80s and 90s.
Positioned as a slightly more premium offering compared to the more practical regular hatch, Hyundai is hoping to attract the kind of discerning Euro-centric buyers that might find something like a Mercedes-Benz CLA or Audi A5 appealing, but at a more wallet-friendly price.
The European focus was made clear with Hyundai unveiling the new Fastback not in Korea, but in Europe, where the i30 Liftback will also be built.
"The i30 Fastback is the newest in our range, bringing a unique new approach to this popular segment," COO of Hyundai Europe, Thomas Schmid, said.
"The sophisticated design of this model incorporates the essence of our philosophy, making premium design accessible for everyone. The i30 Fastback is the first elegant five-door coupe to enter the compact segment, underlining our commitment to innovation and customer choice."
Hyundai hasn’t just chopped the roof and called it a day either, granting the i30 fastback its own sense of style while maintaining clear links to the hatch and wagon. The Fastback is fronted by a lower version of Hyundai’s Cascading Grille corporate face, with a unique lower bumper treatment designed to emphasis width.
The Fastback’s black headlight housings are shared with the also-new i30 N hot hatch, with a kinked set of LED running lights completing the front restyle.
To ensure a more sporting profile the roof of the i30 Fastback has been lowered by 25mm compared to the hatch, completemented by a 5mm lower ride height for a more sporting stance. The sweeping roofline flows into a short notchback boot lid with a pronounced integrated spoiler connecting the rear tail lights.
The designers explained they wanted to give the car a more dynamic look than the hatchback and wagon: "The i30 Fastback is a real game-changer," claimed Hyundai Europe's chief designer, Thomas Burkle.
"We are the first volume brand to enter the compact segment with a stylish and sophisticated five-door coupe. 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 Fastback."
While the styling might hint at a more sporty style, the range of engines on offer in Europe are less focussed on performance and more concerned with low emissions, leading to a choice of either a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine producing 87kW or a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a far-from-head 102kW.
Australian buyers need not concern themselves too much though, with regular i30 Fastback models unlikely to make the trip Down Under, instead a flagship i30 N Fastback, powered by the just-unveiled 184kW and 202kW 2.0-litre engines from the i30 N hatch is tipped to join the range - and it’s this model that is most likely to appear in Hyundai showrooms in Australia.
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