The Nürburgring is hands down the world’s most famous track when it comes to performance testing – especially known for proving new models from almost (if not every) automaker. This is why it was rightfully chosen by Hyundai to debut their new high-performance version of the Veloster Turbo.
A select group of media was invited to the exclusive event, but this first-ever N model Hyundai will be publicly revealed at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.
Hyundai took the already fun-to-drive Veloster Turbo, and tailored it for automotive enthusiasts with a higher level of performance, honed at the ‘Ring, to create this 2019 Veloster N. It’s said that rather than focusing on performance numbers, the automaker focused on spirited drivers’ heartbeats, in order to deliver the most thrilling cornering and racetrack abilities in their power.
But, if we do want to talk power – the Veloster N offers a larger turbocharged 2.0-liter when compared to its predecessor, pushing 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. With advanced cooling and induction systems, the car is said to produce maximum output at every RPM range. When paired with a short-throw six-speed transmission, this makes for quite a responsive and engaging driving experience.
“Veloster N takes Hyundai to a new level of purchase consideration for true driving enthusiasts in the U.S. market,” said Albert Biermann, president and head of Performance Development and High Performance Vehicle Division, Hyundai Motor Group. “The Veloster N is another example of Hyundai Motor’s capabilities, creating an exciting sports car with thrilling dynamics combined with a compelling affordability equation as key to the N high-performance concept.”
The multiple modes the high-flow exhaust system features make for some pros and some cons. The system’s “N” mode makes for crackles, “pops and bangs” as they say, during quick upshifts and rev-matched downshifts. But, the other mode gets some help from an Electronic Sound Generator – which some see as cool, but grassroots people like us see as… pretty lame, quite frankly. Either way, we are down with some pops and bangs.
The Veloster’s power is put to the ground thanks to what is called the “Power Sense” axle design, which allegedly quite widely contributes to the car’s precise steering, response, steering linearity, grip, and overall “centered” feeling. An upgraded rear-strut brace and an available electronically-controlled “N Corner-Carving” LSD also help out and improve launches and reduce understeer. The suspension is electronically controlled also, featuring a similar performance-oriented “N” mode, which reduces dive during braking, enhances roll control during cornering and reduces rear suspension compression under hard acceleration.
The overall driving experience can be altered like many other modern cars; with Normal, Sport, N, Eco, and N Custom modes, all of which have differences in throttle response, engine speed rev-matching, exhaust note, active differential tuning, suspension damping rates, steering feel and yaw-control.
The car comes to a stop thanks to oversized 13.6-inch rotors in the front and 12.4 inches in the rear.
U.S. buyers have the choice of one of four colors; Ultra Black, Chalk White, Racing Red, and N-exclusive Performance Blue. Each vehicle’s interior is black with color-matched accent colors. Almost every piece of the interior has been customized for the N model, with special design focused on the front cloth seats, steering wheel, shift knob, door sills, and instrument cluster.
The car’s lightweight 19-inch machined wheels paired with Michelin Pilot SuperSports or optional Pirelli P-Zeros are clearly an upgrade when compared to that of the previous Veloster’s. The rear view shows us a new rear spoiler, diffuser, lighting, and larger exhaust tips.
The Veloster N’s production starts this September, with U.S. market availability starting in the fourth quarter of the year.