We're still waiting for that fastback, Hyundai.
Hyundai's N brand expansion continues in the US. The Hyundai Veloster N will soon be joined by the just-revealed Kona N and, in the near future, the Elantra N. Meanwhile in the UK, the i30 N hatchback and its ridiculously cool fastback counterpart have been refreshed for the new model year and, bottom line, they're better than ever. Now, the i30 N isn't really necessary in our neck of the woods but the i30 N Fastback would be more than welcome. The closest we will get is the traditional three-box design Elantra N.
What's new for 2021? Both hatch and fastback receive new front fascias featuring wider grills and air intakes. Notice the new headlights and V-shaped LED daytime running lights. Out back, however, nothing has changed from last year.
Both versions receive newly-developed 19-inch forged alloy wheels in a dark satin grey matte finish, which looks great with the N-specific red brake calipers bearing the N logo. A set of high-performance Pirelli P-Zero tires, designed specifically for the i30 N, are carried over from last year.
Inside there's a new 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation, controls for the multi-speaker sound system, and the Performance Driving Data System. The latter monitors and improves the driver's track driving skills and now has updated graphics. Buyers also have the new option of N Light Sport Seats that are made of leather and Alcantara with Performance Blue stitching. They're also nearly 5 pounds lighter than the standard seats. There's also a new seatbelt design.
Under the hood lies the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four which now matches the Veloster N's output of 275 horsepower. Torque, however, is quite a bit higher at 289 lb-ft of torque instead of the Veloster N's 260 lb-ft. For the i30 N, this is a 5 hp and 29 lb-ft gain over the pre-facelift versions. We'd very much like to see that torque boost here. Just saying, Hyundai. Two transmissions are on offer: the familiar six-speed manual or the fast-shifting eight-speed dual-clutch the Veloster N just got.
UK pricing is quite a bit higher compared to the US. The i30 N hatch and fastback begin at £33,745 and £34,495, respectively. That's about $40,900 for the hatch and $41,800 for the fastback at current exchange rates. To compare, the Veloster N starts at $32,250.