The hot hatch market in the U.S. is garnering a lot of attention and nearly as many sales so Hyundai’s going to find out of there is room for one more entry in the segment with the Veloster N.
Hyundai’s Veloster isn’t unknown to American hatchback fans, it’s just never been high on their list of favorites if sales figures are the barometer. However, the South Korean automaker is looking to change that impression with the new 275-horsepower pocket rocket.
The company’s using the Veloster N as a test bed to see if it can expand its N-performance line-up in the U.S. It already sells N-performance cars in other markets. The Veloster’s success or failure will set the stage for other Hyundai high-performance models.
“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.
(Funky town meets funky car: First drive in Hyundai Veloster. Click Here for the story.)
“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.”
Veloster N was born in Namyang, Hyundai’s global R&D center, and was thoroughly honed at its Nurburgring-based testing center in Germany, the company notes. The Veloster N begins production in September 2018 in Ulsan, Korea, with U.S. market availability in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Where the new performance hatch fits in the hierarchy remains to be seen. It’s more powerful than the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Si, Ford Fiesta ST and VW Golf GTI, but lags the Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type-R and VW Golf R.
Veloster N offers a larger 2.0-liter, direct-injected turbocharged powerplant over the Veloster Turbo. The engine boasts up to an available 275 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and up to 260 lb.-ft. of torque. However, power without control doesn’t make a great experience and Hyundai’s worked on that with the Veloster N.
(Click Here for more about 2019 Hyundai Veloster.)
Veloster N’s Power Sense Axle geometry features a zero-scrub radius for more precise steering, quicker response, and a direct on-center feel, with increased steering linearity. The motor-driven power steering system is rack-mounted and secured at three locations for reduced flex and more direct handling, especially during high-performance driving.
For even greater body rigidity and suspension precision under high dynamic cornering loads, a specially designed, unobtrusive rear strut brace reinforces the rear multi-link suspension mounting points. In short, a mix of technology and body stiffness provide a more responsive feel and improved control, especially using the “track-focused” N mode.
Veloster N offers an array of driving modes through its N Grin Control System drive mode selection system, including Normal, Sport, N, Eco and N Custom. Each differentiates engine throttle response, engine speed rev-matching, exhaust note, active differential tuning, suspension damping rates, steering feel and yaw-control characteristics.
On the inside, Veloster N offers exclusive N-design front cloth sport seats with performance-focused bolstering, N-design steering wheel, shift knob, N-logo door sill plates, and N-design electroluminescent instrument cluster. Interior details are accented by an N performance blue accent theme.
(To see more about Hyundai bringing back the Veloster and its hot hatch friend, the N, Click Here.)
Veloster N models are available in four exterior colors for the U.S. market: Ultra Black, Chalk White, Racing Red, and N-exclusive Performance Blue, inspired by Hyundai Motorsport. Interior combinations are black with unique molding accent colors tailored to the exterior combination.