Hyundai’s enjoyed a run of well-received sedans and now it’s hoping it can sprinkle some of that magic on the second edition of a “passion project” that wasn’t so well received the first time around: the 2019 Veloster.
The South Korean automaker’s quirky asymmetrical three-door hatchback hasn’t sold well in recent years. However, with the revival of the hatchback, the company is giving the Veloster another chance at success.
The updated model comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter engine delivers a peak output of 147 horsepower and 132 foot-pounds of torque and a more powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.
However, the real scene stealer is the all-new Veloster N. The N is the company’s high-performance brand that until now, hasn’t been available in the U.S., and is likely going to give the Veloster some street cred like it has never enjoyed before.
(2019 Veloster: Hyundai heats things up with its hot hatch. Click Here for the story.)_
The new N, which will arrive this fall and was tested on the Nurburgring in Germany, features “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 Veloster N offers a comprehensive degree of exterior, interior and mechanical differentiation even beyond the Veloster Turbo and R-Spec models.
With a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4 cylinder that puts out 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, it’s right in line with the current “hot hatch” gang, such as the Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic-R and others. Biermann told TheDetroitBureau.com that the N is all about the driving experience and it allows the driver to push their skills to the limit.
The N has been available in other markets for some time, but the move to the U.S. was done largely to give the Veloster the best chance to success in its second generation. But it’s also a test run to see if there is a market for more N models, such as the i30 N four-door hatchback, which is known as the Elantra in the U.S.
Hyundai officials said its possible the performance brand could be expanded in the U.S. if the Veloster’s iteration sells well.