Veloster N brings Hyundai’s performance division to North America.
“N” stands for Namyang, the location of Hyundai Motor’s global research and development (R&D) Center in Korea. The “N” also represents Hyundai’s performance division, the automaker’s equivalent of Ford’s ST and Volkswagen’s GTI lines. Starting this year, the first model bearing that appellation rolls out when the 2019 Veloster N debuts.
2019 Hyundai Veloster N
The Veloster N represents the apex of the 2019 Veloster line, which also includes Veloster, Veloster Turbo and Veloster R-Spec models. The Veloster makes its return after a brief one-year hiatus. Indeed, although there was no 2018 model, the 2019 Veloster arrives in the first quarter. However, you’ll have to wait until near the end of the calendar year for the Veloster N as production begins in September at Hyundai’s Ulsan manufacturing plant.
The Veloster is a compact, three-door coupe with one rear door located on the passenger side. Yes, it is a quirky design, but it works. As for the “N” it builds on that style by adding an exclusive N-design front fascia and grille with functioning front air duct to augment brake cooling.
Along the sides, the Veloster N supplies unique rocker side sills along with available 19-inch machine-finished alloy wheels. The wheels are shod within Michelin SuperSport summer tires for the 18-inch design and Pirelli P-Zero summer tires with the 19-inch wheels. From the rear, you’ll find an N-design rear spoiler, an integrated rear diffuser and a high-flow dual exhaust system.
Inside, the Veloster N delivers such exclusive features as N-design cloth sport seats with performance-focused bolstering. Other N-exclusive designs extend to the door sills, steering wheel, shift knob and instrument cluster. A blue accent theme runs throughout the cabin.
Veloster N: Under the Hood
Hyundai fans will be delighted to know that just not any turbocharged engine sits under the hood of the Veloster N. Here, you’ll find a larger engine than the standard, this one displacing at 2.0 liters. The performance numbers are the current estimates, but Hyundai’s target is 275 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque from 1,450 to 4,700 rpm. Hyundai pairs this engine with a short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox with downshift rev-matching capability.
The high performance numbers put the Veloster N well above the Golf GTI (220 hp/258 lb.-ft.), but just behind the Golf R (292 hp/280 lb.-ft.). One can imagine that an all-wheel drive Veloster version is waiting in the wings. If so, the Golf R and Focus RS make for ripe targets. Yes, Auto Trends does see this happening!
Suspension and Braking
Of course, with all that power, the hot hatchback’s steering and handling attributes must hold up. To that end, Hyundai ensures the Veloster N stays planted with its electronically controlled suspension and differential, with the latter imbued with torque vectoring to keep it fixed to the pavement when carving corners and taking on twisty roads.
You’ll find 13-inch rotors up front and 11.8-inch rotors at the rear. If you’re a track maven, then opt for the available 13.6-inch rotors for the front and 12.4-inch rotors for the rear. Controlling it all is the N Grin Control System, a drive control selection system with Normal, Sport, N, Eco and N Custom.
Bringing Back the Veloster
If you can’t wait until late this year for the Veloster N, the other Veloster models begin arriving in the coming months. A pair of 1.6-liter engines are in the offing, the standard engine makes 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, while the Veloster Turbo makes 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque and comes with a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
All in all, the next-generation Veloster offers a big improvement over the original model and is also tasked with bringing Namyang goodness the brand.
Photos copyright Hyundai Motors.