Think 'N Light': Hyundai's Veloster Won't Be the Lineup's Only Mean Model

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
think n light hyundai s veloster won t be the lineup s only mean model

BMW has M, Mercedes-Benz has AMG, Cadillac has V, Lexus has F, Volkswagen and Honda share R, and Hyundai now has ownership of the letter N for its performance sub-brand.

The second-generation Hyundai Veloster, bowing for the 2019 model year, gains a hot, 275-horsepower N variant later this year, but it won’t be the only Hyundai model with that letter affixed to its sheetmetal. While the automaker hopes to use the Veloster N’s athleticism to brawn up the lineup’s image, don’t expect any additional N models just yet.

Expect N Sport.

Speaking to Car and Driver, company performance boss Albert Biermann said the N Sport badge is something that could be applied to any model in Hyundai’s lineup.

It’s certainly a lineup that, historically speaking, hasn’t exactly stirred the soul of spirited drivers. However, with maturity comes respect. The automaker is busy adding a new corporate face to its vehicles, revamping its crossover lineup, and generally trying to keep things as fresh as possible. Even its car lineup, which boasts a new Accent, Elantra GT, and refreshed Sonata, appears remarkably youthful.

It’s clearly time to appeal to a new crop of buyers, hence the Veloster N.

As for lesser N Sports, such models won’t gain a “different engine, bigger brakes, or a whole new suspension or axles,” Biermann said, but buyers can expect “a more sporty driving experience.” Outsized rubber might make up part of the package, he added. What the N Sport badge amounts to is a modest improvement in the model’s handling dynamics, paired with a shot of visual athleticism.

Offered alongside the company’s lineup will be a line of N-branded performance accessories, though exactly what add-ons Hyundai plans to offer remains to be seen.

Asked about the possibility of additional full-on N models, Biermann wouldn’t budge on the subject. Public demand for the Veloster N will surely guide the company’s decision-making.

[Image: Hyundai]

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2 of 8 comments
  • Sub-600 Sub-600 on Feb 07, 2018

    Puts me in mind of the Mitsubishi OZ Rally Lancer. Special wheels and a spoiler, same econobox.

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Feb 07, 2018

    The Tucson-N has already been greenlit and a Kona-N has all been but confirmed. Based on that, one can expect an Elantra N to sit atop the Elantra Sport (that is, if Hyundai just doesn't bring over the i30N Fastback). The real question is - if larger models like the new Santa Fe (Sport) and the next Sonata will be getting N variants.

  • Chris P Bacon I had a chance to drive 2 Accords back to back as rentals. The first was a base ICE LX. I was underwhelmed. The next was a Sport Hybrid. Like night and day. So much so that I ventured on to the grounds of my local dealer. Was looking for a Sport or Sport-L. Autotrader showed nothing within 250 miles. Dealer confirmed. Told me I'd have to "get on the list" for a delivery, and there was a non-negotiable $3k "market adjustment". I guess I'll have to hope to see one on the Emerald Aisle again.
  • DungBeetle62 I just this past weekend rented one of these for 5 days in SoCal and with $5.29 the best I could find for gas, this ride's wonderful combination of comfort and thrift was welcome indeed. My biggest real beef is with the entire Accord product line - with that angle of backlight, not having this as a 5-door hatch seems a real waste of space.
  • RICHARD I bought my wife the exact car in the picture 3 weeks ago. Acceleration is average for the class. Smoothness of the powertrain, competent ride dynamics, quietness, and comfort are definitely pluses. The styling is restrained for sure, but we weren't looking for a shouty car that doesn't deliver on the design statement. She drives about 8,000 miles per year, mostly around town. At the current rate, we expect to buy about 16 gallons of gas per month. This really is a car that appears to do everything well rather than excelling at a few things to the detriment of others.
  • Ajla "2010-2019 Borrego"The Borrego only had model years 2009 - 2011 in the United States. The Borrego/Mohave did exist in international markets beyond them but the NHTSA of the United States would not be handling a recall on those. It's annoying that apparently the manufacturer, the federal regulator, and automotive press didn't notice this.
  • SilverCoupe The last Accord I test drove was in 1978, but I ended up buying a VW Scirocco instead. The Accords have put on quite a bit of weight since, then, but then again, so have I!