A hot hatch that would appear to herald performance success for the brand

We saw quite a few interesting debuts at the Detroit Auto Show this year, with a host of fresh metal worthy of your collective automotive attention shedding the sheets and strutting their stuff all over the show floor. As expected, Motown played host tons of important reveals from the domestic makes, but the imports saw some good action as well. One of the most noteworthy was from South Korean brand Hyundai, which gave us an in-depth look at its latest U.S.-bound hot hatchback, the Veloster N. This thing has us excited, offering up all the important hot hatch tricks, but without the premium pricing seen at the top of segment. It’s a move that certainly puts Hyundai on our radar in terms of future performance offerings.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

Veloster N Previews Good Things To Come From Hyundai Exterior
- image 758652
Tthe fact you can get so much hot hatch awesomeness direct from the factory these days is pretty damn cool too.

It wasn’t that long ago that lovers of sport compact performance and the hot hatch segment had very few options when it came time to get a new car. In fact, the best option used to be just build it yourself. And while the legitimacy of building your own ride to your exact specifications isn’t being questioned here, the fact you can get so much hot hatch awesomeness direct from the factory these days is pretty damn cool too.

Indeed, the hot hatch segment is looking might healthy these days, with a plethora of teardrop-shaped tire-shredders to choose from. The latest from Hyundai is the Veloster N, the very first “N” model offered to U.S. consumers.

In case you were unaware, Hyundai’s N division is a bit like Mercedes’ AMG division, BMW’s M division, or Subaru’s STI division. With that extra letter glued to the rear end, expect the car to come with extra go stuff, be it in the form of newfound power, sharper suspension, or new styling.

Veloster N Previews Good Things To Come From Hyundai Exterior
- image 758635
With that extra letter glued to the rear end, expect the car to come with extra go stuff, be it in the form of newfound power, sharper suspension, or new styling. Luckily, the Veloster N gets all of the above.

Luckily, the Veloster N gets all of the above. Nestled into the nose is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces upwards of 275 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 1,450 rpm, a sizable boost over the standard model’s 201 horses. All of it is routed exclusively to the front wheels by way of a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. That’s right petrol heads, a new gearbox with three pedals! There’s hope after all. The drivetrain also gets a few tricks up its sleeves, including an automatic rev-matching feature for buttery smooth downshifts if you have yet to master the heel-toe technique, plus an electronic limited-slip differential to help apply the power to the pavement properly.

That’s a rather sizable wallop from the under-the-hood department, and as such, you’d expect the rest of the kit to match. Luckily, Hyundai delivers thanks to an adjustable suspension set-up to keep the thing shiny side up. The suspension is fully independent, using MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link in the rear, and it comes with electronically controlled dampers that offer either more stiffness or extra cushion as the situation may warrant.

There’s also five different drive modes (Normal, Sport, N, Eco, and N Custom) that affect the throttle response, rev-match system, steering response, differential settings, and even the exhaust note. Putting the power down are 225 mm wide tires with summer performance compound wrapped over 18-inch wheels, although the Veloster N is also available with 19-inch wheels wrapped in wider 235 mm rubber, if desired. Standard equipment throws on 13-inch rotors in front and 11.8-inch rotors in the rear, while upgrades can be had that put 13.6-inch rotors in front and 12.4-inch rotors in back.

Veloster N Previews Good Things To Come From Hyundai Exterior
- image 758648
That's a rather sizable wallop from the under-the-hood department, and as such, you'd expect the rest of the kit to match. Luckily, Hyundai delivers.

The good stuff continues inside the cabin as well, where you’ll find a set of sport seats in front, plus a new steering wheel and a set of shift lights. The exterior styling uses the same three-door-plus-hatch configuration as before, but it all looks much more aggressive, tossing in functional brake cooling vents, new side skirts, and a working rear diffuser to house the dual exhaust tips. Color options include white, black, red, and a light blue custom tailored for N models.

Indeed, the Hyundai Veloster N ticks every single box when it comes to hot hatch stardom. It’s got a good punch waiting when you dig into the loud pedal, it’s got an adjustable suspension and high-tech diff, and it looks to part to a tee. And while there’s no official pricing as of this writing, the Veloster N should slot in between the $25,000- and $30,000-mark, taking on established competitors like the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen GTI.

Of course, those other nameplates have been doing the hot hatch thing for a long time, but we think Hyundai has what it takes to bring the fight in a big way. So much so, we’re excited to see what else the N division can cook up.

Veloster N Previews Good Things To Come From Hyundai Exterior
- image 758633
The Hyundai lineup could certainly use a little extra spice, but where else would the N gloss be appreciated?

The Hyundai lineup could certainly use a little extra spice, but where else would the N gloss be appreciated? Well, how about on the Hyundai Accent? This tiny subcompact sedan has the right dimensions for a pint-sized performance machine, and with a larger rear seat and one extra door, it might appeal to those who need a more traditional commuter, but don’t want something that’ll put them to sleep.

Or here’s something else – a Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid N. Yeah, it’s a bit of a stretch, but considering the way hybrid systems can really boost performance these days, it’s not totally unthinkable.

Either way, it looks like Hyundai really nailed this whole performance hatch thing with the Veloster N. We can’t wait to see what comes next.

References

Hyundai Veloster

Veloster N Previews Good Things To Come From Hyundai Exterior
- image 758651

Hyundai Veloster Brings N Performance to U.S. for 2019!

Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What's with the Lancer Evo Face?
- image 758625

Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What’s with the Lancer Evo Face?

2016 Hyundai Veloster
- image 755389

Read our full review on the 2016 Hyundai Veloster.

no article
- image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

no article
- image 744957

Read more Hyundai news.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: