Car News

275 hp Hyundai Veloster First N Performance Model For North America

Hyundai today revealed the 2019 Hyundai Veloster at the North American International Auto Show and announced the second generation of the quirky hatch will be the first car to wear the brand's N high-performance label.

While the new Veloster's design has been updated with styling cues shared with the recently redrawn Elantra and Accent models, Hyundai has stuck with the asymmetrical three-door configuration that was the original Veloster's most interesting trait: it puts a single rear passenger door on the car's right-hand side to ease access to the car's rear seat.

Also new are the car's powertrains. The Veloster N will be the star of the show with its 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder generating 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The entry-level model will get a 2.0L naturally aspirated motor good for 147 hp and 132 lb-ft, up from 137 hp and 123 lb-ft in the old car's 1.6L. The only engine carried over from the original Veloster is a turbocharged 1.6L that will once again contribute 201 hp and 195 lb-ft to the Veloster Turbo.

While Hyundai promises more satisfying performance than the original Veloster's Accent-based platform could deliver, the Veloster N is the car that carries this South Korean brand's hot hatch aspirations. Hyundai says this car's chassis was developed at Germany's Nurburgring and promises "thrilling dynamics" along with "sports car drivability and race-track capability."

We expect the Veloster's Turbo and N variants to boast handling abilities modeled after the Elantra Sport sedan and hatchback, performance-oriented versions of that compact conceived to keep up with established hot hatches like the Volkswagen GTI.

Visually, Veloster fulfills those promises by filling its fenders with lightweight 19-inch wheels and dressing the body up with trim-exclusive body bits.

The Veloster N also gets an "N" drive mode and a variable exhaust system that Hyundai says will combine for an enthusiast-pleasing soundtrack, while brake rotors measuring 345 mm up front and 315 mm at the rear will do stopping duty.

All Veloster models will get a brake-based torque vectoring front differential that will apply braking force to the inside front wheel and redirect torque to the outside wheel for sharper handling and better corner-exit acceleration.

As before, base and turbo models will get a choice of six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions, while the Veloster N will use a short-throw, close-ratio six-speed stick with rev-matching capability.

Veloster and Veloster Turbo are due in Canada this spring; Hyundai says the Veloster N will follow closer to the end of the year.