2019 Hyundai Veloster N: Take Two
It was only six months ago when Hyundai announced the i30 N for European markets. A five door hatchback rigorously tested at the Nürburgring under the watchful eye of ex-BMW M Division head honcho Albert Biermann. Combined with Hyundai's aggressive efforts to enter the sports car market, Biermann and his team built a nimble hot hatch that cracks and bangs in an uncharacteristically pleasant fashion - one you'd never expect from a Hyundai. Now, six months later, Hyundai is introducing the Veloster N. A four-door hatchback close to its i30 N sibling. Will Hyundai have the consistency to impress enthusiasts a second time? We'll have to wait to find out when U.S. deliveries begin fourth quarter this year.
Kicking off the Veloster N announcement is a new generation of the car it's based on. Namely, the 2019 Veloster and Veloster Turbo. Besides reshaping its body to look less awkward, Hyundai fitted the Veloster with revised front strut and rear multi-link suspension in addition to two new engines, redesigned interior, and updated transmissions. New safety features bring automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, automatic high beam, blind spot collision warning, electronic stability control, and optional LED headlights into the mix. As you'd expect, the Veloster N will have all these features included with the performance ugprades.
Under the hood the Veloster N packs a THETA 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four boosted to 275 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 260 lb-ft at 1450 - 4700 rpm. 4 more horsepower than the i30 N with its higher performance engine. The Veloster N uses a new isolated turbo intercooler for improved thermals with a two-stage induction system that's said to provide a wider powerband. A close-ratio short-throw 6-speed manual transmission is your only option. Hyundai hasn't stated any zero-to-60 mph times yet though performance is expected to be close to the i30 N. We're thinking 6.1 seconds or less. For everyday driving Hyundai uses carbon-coated synchro rings for smoother shifts. Automatic rev-match downshifts can be toggled.
Track and spirited drive handling improvements are courtesy of Hyundai's Power Sense axle geometry with zero scrub radius. Hyundai claims this geometry provides more precise, faster steering and upgraded on-center feel. Veloster N drivers will notice reduced body roll from a rear strut brace while an electronically controlled suspension handles the rest. Like the i30 N much of the Veloster N's corner-killing elements come from its electronic limited slip differential.
Four driving modes are available: Normal, Eco, Sport, N and N Custom. These modes change the electric steering, active dampers, throttle response, and active exhaust to fit the occasion. Hyundai says the exhaust crackles on overrun so whichever mode causes it do that the most is the one you'd want to use all the time.
Brakes are 13.6-inch in the front and 12.4-inch rear. Hyundai i30 N reviews stated the brakes resisted fade at a respectable level after track driving, so there's no need to worry in that department. You also don't need to worry about aftermarket tires as the Veloster N is equipped with 18-inch 225/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires as standard. An upgrade to 235/35 R19 Pirelli P-Zero tires is available.
Exterior changes to the Veloster N include larger front grille, front air ducts, rear spoiler, black rear bumper, dual exhaust, and possibly fake rear diffuser. The interior features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard with optional head-up display, Qi wireless charging, 8-inch touchscreen, Apple Siri integration, and GPS navigation. All Veloster models retain the strange 1-door on driver side 2-door on passenger side layout.
Pricing to be announced closer to release.