Hyundai's antidote to 'boring' compacts announced as i30 Fastback coupe

Hyundai's i30 Fastback coupe

On the whole, there are plenty of motor manufacturers and their bosses more prone to controversial remarks and statements than Hyundai. However, that hasn't stopped Thomas Schmid, Hyundai's chief operating officer for Europe, describing the current C-segment of the European car market as "boring." Schmid told reporters at a launch event in Dusseldorf, Germany, he believes that more and more buyers may be moving towards SUVs and crossovers "because the C-segment is a bit boring." Thankfully though, Mr. Schmid also believes his company may have the antidote to this current and ongoing phenomenon in the shape of a third body style being added to the i30 range: a fastback coupe.

This latest addition to the Hyundai family was unveiled alongside the new i30 N performance model, and the i30 Fastback features a lower nose and sleeker roofline than other i30s to blur the lines somewhat between a five-door hatch and a coupe. The Fastback sits 5mm lower than the hatchback and a slimmer glass line is another contributing factor to this latest version being 30mm lower overall than its siblings. Hyundai claims these changes improve the car's aerodynamics and at the same time lower the car's center of gravity. The i30 Fastback is also 115mm longer than the hatch, which also contributes to a sleeker profile.

The new i30 Fastback isn't just designed to look the part though, as it also benefits from bespoke suspension settings with spring rates that are 15% stiffer to deliver improved agility and much better handling. This should help make it the sportiest variant of the regular i30 range, and only to be eclipsed by the new i30 N that will be the first car from Hyundai's new N high-performance sub brand.

Every model in the i30 lineup will be built at Hyundai's facility in Nosovice, Czech Republic. Schmid added, "The enlargement of the i30 family is an important step in our road to 2021," which is a reference to the Korean automaker's ambition to become the top-selling Asian brand in Europe by overtaking Nissan and Toyota who currently hold first and second place.

The new Hyundai i30 Fastback is set for launch early in 2018 in Europe, where it is aimed at rivaling the likes of the Audi A3 Saloon and the Mazda 3 Fastback.