As much as we love the idea of playing with older cars and “fixing” them to meet our latest desires, we still enjoy seeing a new kid on the block because it means someone still cares when it comes to providing us fun vehicles to play with that the bean-counters haven’t shot down. That new kid on the block isn’t actually all that new, but it sports some new performance numbers to keep competitors on edge and provides us with yet another option for those seeking practical fun. Introducing the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N, which aims to compete directly with the VW Golf GTI, Honda Civic Si and Type R, and the Golf R, the Veloster N ups the ante with 275 horsepower from its turbo’d four cylinder. Along with extra power, the Veloster N packs a stiffer chassis, and aggressive styling. Our favorite part? The 6-speed manual only option. #Savethemanuals, am I right?
Sharing much of it’s appearance with the i30 N (from the European market), the Veloster N is also offered in limited colors (blue, black, red, white) but N models are separated from the average Veloster group with red trim on the front and sides. Propelling you corner to corner is the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four which plops down up to 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Channeled through the 6-speed manual we mentioned earlier, and then through an optional electronically limited slip differential connecting the front tires. The Veloster N also gains adaptive dampers, launch control, variable exhaust, and automatic rev matching. If the rev-matching is anywhere near as smooth as the 6th Gen Borla Camaro SS we drove, we’d probably leave it activated.
Five different driving modes are user selectable too, include the “N” setting for the track. For more performance buyers will need to choose between two different wheel and tire packages. The 18-inch wheels include 225mm wide Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, while putting a tick next to the 19-inch option provides Pirelli P Zero tires in a slightly wider 235mm section. While the 19-inch wheels probably look great on the car, we’d opt for which ever is smaller and or cheaper knowing that we would end up swapping to a wider set down the road. Oh, and if you want to fill those wheels up with bigger brakes, buyers have an available brake upgrade package which bumps up rotor size on all four corners.
We’ll hold off on too much speculation for performance numbers until it actually hits surface streets, but we’re huge fans of manufactures giving us higher performance spec’d vehicles. More competition drives innovation and provides us with every day vehicles which put down numbers that rival the cars we grew up dreaming about.
At the end of the day the Veloster N isn’t a hardcore, bare bones race car, but for those that need to choose practicality and commuting above all else? Well they just might have a fighting chance to feel elevated heart-rate levels and thrills on the weekend…or you know, showing that guy in the Bimmer your tail lights after he refuses to let you merge.