- Published: Friday, 14 July 2017 00:16
Hyundai pulls an Audi-lite, with this A5 Sportback-like car. But does the i30 Fastback embody Korean ambition, or overambition?
THE COVERS HAVE just been yanked off this, the Hyundai i30 Fastback. It’s a five-door coupe that Hyundai says is the first of its kind, and it’s no concept car: the i30 Fastback goes on sale in Europe in the beginning of 2018.
There, buyers will get to choose between a 1.4-litre, direct injection turbo with 140 horsepower that can be paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, and a 120hp, 1.0-litre T-GDI with a six-speed manual.
Hyundai says it’ll drive more sportily than the five-door hatchback i30, which is a rival to Volkswagen’s Golf. That’s down to the Fastback’s chassis setup, which gives it lower (by 5mm) suspension with 15 percent stiffer springs.
The slinkier roofline of the Fastback means the car is 30mm lower overall than the hatchback.
Thomas Bürkle, the chief designer at Hyundai’s European design centre in Germany, calls the car a game-changer. “We are the first volume brand to enter the compact segment with a stylish and sophisticated 5-door coupé,” he said in a statement.
“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,” he added, explaining his new creation. “Our team was able to achieve a pure design, which combines the sports car spirit with the comfort of a luxurious sedan.”
Think Audi A5 Sportback, in other words, but scaled-down and with a Hyundai badge on the grille.
The i30 Fastback will be available with fairly advanced features such as autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitors, lane-keep assist and active cruise control that lets it follow the pace of a car in front (stopping and going automatically if need be) for up to 180km/h.
All well and good, but not much use to us if the car isn’t going to make it to Singapore. Its hatchback sibling, the i30, will be launched here around September, but watch this space to find out if the i30 Fastback will someday join it.
Whether or not it’ll make it here is one thing, but whether our market is clamouring for a posh, compact Hyundai five-door coupe is another. What do you think? Is Hyundai on the fast track to burnishing its brand with the i30 Fastback, or trying to pull a fast one?
Here's a handsome Hyundai that's confirmed for Singapore: it's the Kona