Hyundai Veloster N DCT takes on the Honda Civic Type-R; will quick shifts be enough to beat the Japanese hot hatch?by Dim Angelov, on LISTEN 02:55
Most would probably agree that a drag race is a good way to determine which one of two (or more) cars has superior performance. Sam CarLegion – a YouTube channel that drag races (mostly) new vehicles – has given us a proper quarter-mile brawl between two of the hottest hot hatchbacks currently on sale. It’s the Hyundai Veloster N DCT versus the Honda Civic Type-R. Although a drag race only tells you so much about a car’s overall performance, the two are more evenly matched than you might think.
On paper, things are looking quite grim for the Hyundai Veloster N. The Civic Type-R outguns the Korean hot hatch, with 306 horsepower versus 275. It also has more torque – 295 pound-feet (400 Nm) versus the Hyundai’s 260 pound-feet (353 Nm).
To our surprise, the Veloster N is also heavier – 3,186 pounds (1,445 kg) versus the Civic’s 3,121 pounds (1,415 kg).
However, we think that’s because of Veloster N’s optional double-clutch gearbox. At the same time, the Civic Type-R can only be had with a six-speed manual. Could this be its downfall?
The first three runs are done from a standstill. As always, the first run is done in comfort mode. According to Sam – the host who also happens to be driving the Veloster N – the car does not like launching from a dig and “goes into sleep mode for a moment”. Can sport mode change that?
The second race is much better for the Veloster N. In sport mode, the car rockets ahead and stays there…for a while. Eventually, the Civic Type-R’s power and torque advantage, combined with some quick manual shifting takes the win, but not as effortlessly as you may think.
In the third race, both cars shift manually and the outcome is similar to the first run. The Honda wins again. The two cars go at it one last time, but this time from a 50 km/h (31 mph) rolling start. The Veloster N performs valiantly overall, but the Civic Type-R proves too tough of an opponent, in the end.
Nevertheless, both cars performed very well and are capable representatives of the hot hatch segment. We are curious what the Hyundai Veloster N DCT is capable of after an engine and transmission ECU tune, as we think the potential of the drivetrain has not been fully utilized. It’s also worth noting that the Hyundai is around $5,000 less expensive on average and can run with its Japanese rival. In the meantime, the Honda Civic Type-R takes home a well-deserved win.