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Hyundai i30 N fastback to land here in 2019, hot Veloster on wish list

By Tim Robson, 30 Oct 2018 Car News

Hyundai i30 N fastback to land here in 2019, hot Veloster on wish list

Runaway success of Hyundai i30N hatch spurs HQ to fast-track fastback version and potentially a smaller, quicker Veloster N for Australia

Hyundai Australia is lining up to launch its second i30 N early in 2019, with the addition of the fastback four-door i30 N.

Spied at the World Time Attack event earlier this month, Hyundai is saying little about the car, with spokesperson Bill Thomas telling WhichCar.com that “nothing is signed off or confirmed yet.”

The i30 N burst onto the hot hatch scene earlier this year, putting the wind up perennial favourites like the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Peugeot 308GTI and Honda’s Civic Type-R.

The car displayed at the World Time Attack event is understood to be very close to the spec that should be unveiled later this year.

Read next: 2018 Hyundai i30 N review

This means a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine making 202kW and 353Nm, a limited slip diff, big brakes and a six-speed manual gearbox, along with an upgraded interior, multimedia system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, sat nav and bespoke performance changes that allow you to tweak everything from shock tune to exhaust volume.

The i30 N fastback won’t be diluted, either, with Thomas confirming that the sub-brand will prioritise performance before anything else.

Expect the fastback to cost about the same as the $39,990 hatch, as well.

“The more N cars we can get, the better,” confirmed Thomas, who added that the fastback would combine well with the incoming eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s slated for release late next year.

Such is the popularity of the i30 N here and overseas, there’s currently a wait of up to six months for delivery, a situation that Thomas admits is “far from ideal”.

READ NEXT: Wheels Interview: Albert Biermann, from M to N

“We’ve done better than we predicted, and the factory is doing what it can to catch up. We didn’t think it would be anything like the numbers it’s done both here and overseas,” he said.

Meanwhile, the N ranks may be further bolstered by a car that’s not even confirmed for right-hand-drive production, let alone for Australia.

The Veloster N – which launches in the United States this month – is shorter, lower and lighter than the i30 N, but is currently only slated for left-hand-drive production.

“We’d like to push for it anyway,” confirmed Mr Thomas. “The Veloster buyer is a different proposition to a hatch buyer, and the N would be a great fit.”

There are ups and downs to the plan; while large RHD markets like the UK don’t take the entire Veloster range, the Veloster Turbo is already built in right-hook configuration with a multi-link suspension rear end.

Read next: 2018 Hot Hatch Megatest: Introduction

This means that the required crash testing and validation to bump it up to N status won’t be as expensive or as time-consuming as it would be to create a model from a lesser-specced donor car.

If the plan gets the green light, though, the Veloster could arrive as quickly as 2020, and would therefore be available out of the box in either automatic or manual form.

The Veloster N launches in the US this month in both 186kW and full-house 202kW Performance version, a six-speed manual gearbox, bi-modal exhaust, adaptive suspension and large brakes.