By on February 7, 2018

Hyundai Veloster N

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.

Hyundai 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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8 Comments on “Think ‘N Light’: Hyundai’s Veloster Won’t Be the Lineup’s Only Mean Model...”

  • avatar

    I don’t like the sound of this. Usually automakers wait a least a few years before they dilute there performance monikers with packages that are mostly cosmetic. I’m looking at you SS, ST, GT, AMG, M, etc, etc. The volester N looks like a hoot. Too bad it will share showroom space with a Sonata N sport complete with “sport striping and genuine sport plastic chrome moniker”

    • 0 avatar

      I have given up on any kind of performance resurgence. I think you’ll continue to see performance cars at the high end of the market, as well as icon formulaic products like the Mustang, Challenger, Corvette, and Camaro. But I think affordable innovative performance cars will be limited to infrequent and short term special editions, which I’m sure is what this will turn out to be.

      I am contenting myself by putting my hope in the return of the brougham. I was very very heartened by yesterday’s TTAC article about the return of the Elite name plate to the Ford Edge. Maybe it was just a coincidence but my heart truly hopes that Ford at least thought of the great Ford Gran Torino Elite from 1974-76.

      If so, can great packages like the Lipstick or Creme and Gold paint schemes and Lincoln Designer Series be too far behind? The CUV presents to perfect template for these packages to return. I think they would sell much better than all these faux sporty CUVs that are obviously pretenders and ride too hard for the average American who buys these things. That’s a far more likely, and profitable, situation than a return to the pocket rocket era of the early 1990s.

  • avatar

    In Millennial speak, does “mean” equate to “weak” the way “bad” did to “good” for Xers in the 80s?

    Seriously the first image says it all: nothing screams “mean” like a light purple economy car with horrid styling cues.

  • avatar

    Oh come on Hyundai! If it doesn’t actually go faster it means nothing. All the real performance lines know that. Red trim and bigger wheels will not make “N” worth anything. Go hard or go home.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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.

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