Hyundai unveils Veloster N performance hatchback

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Hyundai has unveiled their second ever N Performance product in the form of a hot Veloster.  That’s right, meet the Hyundai Veloster N – relegating the new Veloster Turbo upon which it’s based to a lowly lukewarm status.  Though Hyundai might not be synonymous with hot-hatchery, the i30 N has been racking up rave reviews from foreign media – and with Dr. Albert Biermann being the man behind it (former head of BMW’s M division), it’s no surprise.  Herr Biermann is hoping to endow the Veloster N with the same spirit and performance.

 

The Hyundai Veloster N is based on the lesser Veloster and Veloster Turbo revealed alongside it at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and though it may follow the oddball 4-door coupe body style of the current model, the rest is all new.  Beneath the surface, it rides on the same platform and running gear as the acclaimed Hyundai i30N too, so it should be good.

 

Hyundai enthuses that although the N vehicles are honed at the brand’s Nurburging base, they aren’t purely about laptimes.  Rather, Hyundai claims N models are more about BPM (beats per minute) than RPM – they want drivers to be thrilled, plain and simple.

 

Visual Upgrades

 

Visually, the Hyundai Veloster N is differentiated from the Veloster Turbo by more than just this light blue hue.  It features N-specific bodywork such as side sills, front grille, air intakes, front bumper, rear bumper, diffuser and roof mounted spoiler with integrated F1-inspired lamp design.  The diffuser also houses twin tailpipes of a particularly large diameter, mounted outboard as opposed to the Veloster Turbo’s central pipes.  18-inch alloys are standard, wearing 225/40R18 profile Michelin Pilot SuperSport tyres, though an optional 19-inch alloy design is lightweight and wears wider 235/35R19 section Pirelli P-Zero rubber for additional grip and performance.

 

Interior enhancements include a range of N-specific design details.  N-design front cloth sport seats feature strong side bolstering for enhanced grip and lateral support, while the steering wheel, gear shift lever, and door sill plates all bear N logos and are specific to N Performance vehicles.  An N-design instrument cluster is also featured, and interior accents are all in N Performance blue.

 

Mechanical Highlights

 

Beneath the blue bonnet of the Hyundai Veloster N, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine develops maximum outputs of 202kW at 6000rpm, with peak torque of 353Nm arriving from 1450-4700rpm.  The front wheels are driven exclusively through a short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox (one for the enthusiasts) that utilises carbon-coated synchros and a bespoke clutch, and that features active rev-matching functionality on downshifts.  At this stage, Hyundai is yet to release performance figures for the Veloster N, but expect a sub 6.0-second 0-100km/h sprint.

 

The Veloster N’s large diameter tailpipes are indicative of a high-flow active exhaust system with a variable exhaust actuator.  In N-mode, the system is engineered to deliver a range of pops and crackles on shifts and overrun.

 

With the aim of satiating purists’ needs, the Hyundai Veloster N benefits from a bespoke suspension setup.  The N Power Sense Axle design has been geometrically optimised for precise steering response, direct feedback, and an increased sense of linearity of response in all scenarios.  The actual suspension is electronically controlled and adjustable, including a track-specific N mode.  Using load transfer control systems, Hyundai’s N Division has dialled in certain amounts of body roll for enhanced feedback, but it also helps reduce rear suspension load under hard acceleration.

 

Optionally available to the Veloster N is an electronically controlled ‘N Corner Carving Limited-slip Differential’.  The differential is slated to improve launch performance by maximising grip, as well as reducing understeer and increasing maximum cornering speed via its torque vectoring action.

 

Several drive modes are included in the Hyundai Veloster N’s setup, accessible via the N Grin Control System.  It’s a cheesy name, but it allows driver’s to select Normal, Sport, N, Eco, and N Custom modes, with tailored settings applied to the throttle mapping, rev-matching system, exhaust note, suspension damping rates, differential tuning, and steering feel.

 

Housed within the 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels, the Hyundai Veloster N features standard 330mm brake discs up front and 300mm discs at the rear.  Optionally available performance discs are 345mm up front and 315mm at the rear.

 

Availability and Arrival in South Africa

 

At this stage, it is yet to be confirmed whether the Hyundai Veloster N will be made available in South Africa or not – though we have reached out to Hyundai for comment.  However if Hyundai wishes to cement themselves as a performance brand, they’d do well to bring the Veloster N and i30N in rather than offering crappy N-badged i20s that do nothing but ruin the brand’s reputation.

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