By on July 20, 2018

Hyundai Veloster N

Hyundai’s Veloster has gone from an oddball offering drivers a reasonably good time on a budget to something that can compete with the Volkswagen GTI and Civic Si. It’s no longer the hot hatch you settled on to save money; it’s a legitimate alternative.

Outfitted properly, the updated Hyundai can hold its own in the hot hatch segment. However, it does not appear to shame any of the veteran entrants. The GTI remains the total package while other models offer their own unique advantages. But the Veloster, specifically the R-Spec with the 1.6-liter turbo, remains in the mix with a leaner price tag.

This changes when the Hyundai’s N sub-brand arrives in the U.S. market. 

Hyundai Veloster N

The Veloster N will have a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with up to 275 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque, according to Hyundai. This should place it in a sweet spot right above most sporty entry-level vehicles but just below something like the Focus RS, Golf R, or Civic Type R. Reviews of its sister car, the European-market i30 N, have shown it to be slightly lacking in refinement but abundant in character and fun.

On Friday, Hyundai introduced its high-performance N model for the U.S. market at Germany’s Nurburgring, showcasing the variant’s willingness to perform at “The Green Hell.”

Hyundai Veloster N

The model has its own unique spoiler, rear diffuser, front fascia, grille, side sills, LED headlamps, LED tail lights, high-performance exhaust, larger brake rotors, and functional air ducts (YES!) that promote brake cooling. N-specific 18-inch wheels wrapped in standard 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot SuperSport summer tires also help it stand apart. However, you can order it with a set of 19-inch alloys with 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero rubber if you’d like.

For the interior, the Veloster N offers exclusive N-design front cloth sport seats with additional bolstering, as well as an N-design steering wheel, shift knob, and badging on the sill plates. There’s also some blue accenting here and there to reference the N-exclusive “Performance Blue” paint job. You can also have the car in white, black, or red for the 2019 model year.

Hyundai Veloster N

The 2.0-liter, direct-injected turbocharged powerplant is larger and more powerful than the 201-horsepower Veloster Turbo by a fair margin. Hyundai estimates 275 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and up to 260 lb-ft of torque between 1,450 and 4,700 rpm. The two-stage turbo system’s intercooler has also been moved away from the condenser and radiator for more efficient cooling of the intake charge.

Hyundai claims the N’s six-speed manual transmission offers a close ratio, short throws, and downshift with rev-matching capability. It also goes to great lengths to explain how hard it worked on making sure the clutch was strong enough to take some real abuse and the ensuring the gearbox felt right.

In fact, there were many things said about how hard Hyundai worked to make sure the vehicle felt fun to drive (and to ensure it was up for a bit of thrashing). The only feature we have mixed opinions on is the electronic sound generator, which enhances the natural powertrain sound for the driver’s benefit. It already has a variable exhaust note that offers crackles and pops when you want it to; digital enhancements seem unnecessary. But we understand this is a pretty common practice in the industry right now.

If the Veloster N is anything like the i30 N, you’ll probably be able to shut that feature off thanks to an insane level of driver customizability.

There’s a trick multi-link suspension that manages load-transfer to keep the weight from shifting too far back on the front-drive hatchback during acceleration (and to prevent dive during braking), an electronically-controlled torque-vectoring system, and loads of customizable performance preferences via the Veloster’s “N Grin Control System.” Larger brakes mean 13.6-inch rotors in the front and 12.4-inch units in the rear. But 13.0 inchers in the front and 11.8 in the back are the standard setup.

Regardless of which options you splurge for, it all sounds incredibly good, and some of that goodness should extend to other models in the coming years.

While Hyundai hasn’t confirmed which souped-up vehicles will carry an N designation, it is building a trim level below that already. Called the “N-Line,” the units will boast unique styling, larger brakes, and should have access to a some mild performance upgrades. There is also the likelihood of N-Line aftermarket accessories for all Hyundai vehicles. From the sound of things, it will basically be the Hyundai equivalent of Mopar.

Unfortunately, there has been no confirmation on which cars will become fully fledged N models with beefed-up powertrains, but the rumor mill claims Hyundai already has something else in the works. The Veloster N will not stand alone forever.

Hyundai Veloster N

[Images: Hyundai]

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15 Comments on “New Details Spilled on Hyundai Veloster N; Additional Performance Variants to Wear N Badge...”

  • avatar
    The ultimate family-friendly hybrid vehicle is finally here.

    In that color, it makes my mouth water for some Easter candy.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen a few of the regular models in Korea, it is much more grown-up looking. Longer and lower, and not at all embarrassing like the previous model.

  • avatar

    The Veloster N is very exciting and I’m quite eager to learn more about it. But none of the information about the car in this piece is new. Normally I don’t mind having the press release regurgitated but this time I didn’t even learn anything.

  • avatar

    If they offered it when the original Veloster turbo came out, I would have seriously considered it. I think I’m a bit passed that kind of car at this point in my life.

  • avatar

    Presently, there are 3 N models – the i30N, the Veloster-N and the i30N Fastback.

    The N division is also working on N variants of the Kona and Tucson, as well as a stand-alone N model (which may be a mid-engine).

    A new DCT will join the 6 spd MT gearbox in about a year’s time, and sometime after that, a new 2.5L turbo-4 will replace the 2.0T.

    • 0 avatar

      bd2, that’s very interesting. Where did you hear that there will be a new 2.5 engine coming? I’m *very* interested in the car, but if there will be a better engine coming, I’d wait for it.


      • 0 avatar

        analogman –

        Here’s the info on the new Theta III engines, including a 2.3L mid-engine.

        Hyundai expanded its Alabama plant to manufacture the 2.5L (at least in NA form) and we’ll likely see that in the new Santa Fe and the next Sonata.

        May be a while before we see an engine upgrade for the new Veloster; may not be until the facelift, or at the very least a couple of years.

  • avatar

    Very interesting stuff, and I’m not being sarcastic in the least. I wonder what the U.S. price will be?

    I agree with TMA1, it looks much better.

  • avatar

    So just as Ford is saying “No more Focus ST/RS, no more Fiesta ST for YOU!” Hyundai is like: “Don’t worry, we got this.”

    I’d love to see a Sonata N where all the hp actually show up to the party. The current 2.0T doesn’t have performance to match it’s on paper stats.

    • 0 avatar

      Mark my words. Ford will come begging the federal government to give it billions in bailout cash when gas prices go back up and demand for trucks and SUVs disappears.

      I will personally Camp outside my congressman’s office and demand that he not give them $.01 of taxpayer bailout money this time.

      • 0 avatar

        Some flaws in your prediction: first, Ford will still produce the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo (Fusion) for other markets. If the demand for cars comes back, so can Ford cars. In fact, the Focus and Fiesta are both all-new (well, the redesigned Fiesta has been out for a year or so). Also, Ford is launching several BEVs, and every future model will have some form of electrification (including Mustang and F-150).

        But, don’t let pesky facts interfere with your doom-and-gloom predictions. Get your camping gear ready.

  • avatar

    I wondered since the first information came out about “N” coming to North America where is there any logic in picking the Veloster to start N with.

    I mean, there’s an Elantra GT (a.k.a. i30N) racing in Pirelli World Challenge since March in North America (it won at Circuit of the Americas in Texas and last weekend in Portland Oregon). Also i30 N (Elantra GT) has been racing in Europe and available for the street in Europe. Meanwhile, the previous Veloster has been widely derided as having poor quality and visibility, and usually only desirable to very young people with smart phones crazy glued to their ears and they think as long as it has any engine in it….. In other words, wrong demographic.

    Potential hatchback GTi and Golf R types who care about car details would never buy a Veloster, but perhaps an Elantra GT.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe because the Veloster is their sporty small car? And gripes about the previous generation are irrelevant since this is the second generation.

      “Potential hatchback GTi and Golf R types who care about car details would never buy a Veloster, but perhaps an Elantra GT”

      Well I’m a potential sporty small car buyer (considering a Civic Si, Toyobaru), and I have no interest whatsoever in the Elantra, but the new Veloster is on my radar now. If the GTI were still a 3 door, it’d be in consideration as well. If I were open to a 4/5 door car, I’d be looking at a FiST or FoST, but still not an Elantra.

  • avatar

    The Elantra Sport is definitely on my radar… reviews have been excellent. Tho it’s next to impossible to find one with the 6-speed manual in the L.A. area… and I don’t think I’d consider the DCT. I’d consider ordering, if it came down to it… would make for a fun daily driver. The i30N would be overkill for me… I think I’d be happy with the Sport.

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