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JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
11/2/18 3:28 p.m.
feature_image

Photos Courtesy Hyundai

With the N model, the Hyundai Veloster finally kicks open the door to the private lounge of A-list sport compacts and demands to be taken seriously. Developed by Hyundai’s Albert Biermann–formerly of a little division you may have heard of at BMW called M–and a team of seriously hardcore engineers, the N adds some subtle and not no-so-subtle upgrades to the Veloster, which was already growing into one of the sleeper picks for fun, modern hot hatches.

Not merely a badge-and-boost package, the N designation adds some legit engineering to the Veloster platform. Several dozen additional spot and seam welds, along with a few carefully placed braces, stiffen the chassis, and electronically controlled shocks and differential provide some of the most intuitive handling we’ve experienced in a car of this class.

The 275-horsepower engine available in the Performance Package trim has a flat torque curve from about 3000 rpm all the way to the too-low-feeling, sub-7000 rpm redline. (The standard-issue Veloster N get 250 horsepower, an open diff and 18-inch wheels instead of the available 19s.)

Actually, if we were picking nits we may say that the Veloster N’s linear power delivery actually makes it a little less exciting for everyday driving. It serves to mask the actual quickness of the car, as the engine never really feels like it’s working too hard.

On track, it’s great, though. That flat torque curve works well along with the magic “corner carving” diff. (Hyundai’s designation, although we’re not going to argue.) End result: You can seriously fine-tune front end attitude with the throttle during cornering.

The chassis is darn near magic, and easily one of the most accessible front-drive platforms we’ve ever driven. Any cornering attitude is available to even moderately skilled drivers.

Want benign understeer? Just slow to corner-entry speed in a straight line and throttle through the apex. Want a little bit of oversteer? Wait on that braking and trail into the corner until the rear is at the desired slip angle–and then get back on the gas. It’s all immensely fun and immensely satisfying on track.

Seemingly durable, too: The Performance Package’s upgraded brakes with the dealer-available track pads installed never complained during a day of hard laps by journalist at Thunderhill. Hyundai techs said they probably wouldn’t even need pad replacements after two days of abuse by the media types, who can be a little tough on equipment at times.

Maybe the most exciting part of the Veloster N, though, is Hyundai’s direct outreach to the track community. In addition to those Pagid pads, they’ll sell you some R-compound Pirellis through the local Hyundai dealer.

We got to sample an N fitted with the 235/40R19 Pirelli Trofeo R tires and can report that the chassis is easily up to the task of handling the additional grip and capability of the more hardcore rubber. Yeah, all cars go faster with R-comps, but some cars easily have their chassis overwhelmed by the additional friction. Steering feel can go away, and handling at the limit can become somewhat unpredictable. Not so with the Veloster N, which just stays composed, intuitive and friendly, just with more grip.

There’s a lot here to like, and not enough room to discuss it, so we suggest you head to our YouTube page at youtube.com/grassrootsmotorsports and check out our comprehensive review of the Veloster N. It should be in dealers soon, with the Performance Package equipped cars coming in under the $30,000 mark.

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Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette UltraDork
11/2/18 4:54 p.m.

is that IRIS Blue ?

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/2/18 4:58 p.m.

Reminds me of the Gulf color scheme, I dig it. 

That would be an interesting option if I needed a practical car. 

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon SuperDork
11/2/18 5:13 p.m.

Do want.

A few years ago I never thought I’d say that about a Hyundai.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
11/2/18 5:17 p.m.

That baby blue with red accents is HAWT!

TORKER
TORKER
11/2/18 7:48 p.m.

I'd love one of these. If only Hyundai would've thought of the Accent...

MondoMike
MondoMike None
11/3/18 2:35 p.m.

Albert Biermann and Hyundai have officially developed a "hot hatch." Bravo!  This is a good thing.  Unfortunately, like so many modern cars, the Hyundai Veloster N  looks like a Transformer. Apparently, automotive design is now all about computer modeling and wind tunnels, so looking like a Transformer must be mandatory.  The 2019 Hyundai makes sporty, burbling noises. It is front wheel drive and weighs over 3100 lbs, just like the other commuter cars on the road. There's different driving modes and various electronic safety devices to minimize the chance of a crash if you screw up. Yes, it's pretty fast on a track, but if you can't make a car perform well with 275 HP and 235/40/R19 tires you are in the wrong line of work. My brain says I'm glad to see another competitor in the market place, especially at a lower price point,  but my heart says "meh." It's a "me too" car,  built to meet a benchmark at a specific price point.  There's nothing "wrong" with this Hyundai. I guess I'm still waiting to see something truly innovative from someone that colors outside the lines. 

 

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
11/3/18 3:03 p.m.

If I was looking for a Car in this segment I'd be very tempted by this. It's interesting that Hyundai is one of the few manufacturers building small displacement turbo engines with linear power delivery and that pull hard to redline.

kazoospec
kazoospec UltraDork
11/3/18 3:18 p.m.

My brother tells me he's ordering one.  Not sure of the time table.  Further bulletins as events warrant.  

Toebra
Toebra Dork
11/3/18 8:47 p.m.

Close enough to Gulf Blue, would look good liveried up I bet.  

BluEvo210
BluEvo210 New Reader
11/4/18 9:24 p.m.

There's no accounting for taste.

The Veloster has always been ugly as sin.  The Veloster N is no different. 

Why are we getting a "Veloster N" when the rest of the world gets the "N" treatment on the Elantra hatchback body?  The Elantra looks much better. 

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
11/4/18 10:26 p.m.

you guys are harsh. Hyundai finally builds a true enthusiasts car and you dump all over it.

 

I like the veloster, It was on my short list of cars when I got my Abarth

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
11/4/18 10:42 p.m.

Um...I dig it.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/5/18 8:18 a.m.

In reply to mad_machine :

Agreed. 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Dork
11/5/18 8:53 a.m.

Straight down gauges - individually selecting firmness/lockup/etc on the electronically controlled pieces (unlike Honda and friends) (i.e. race mode steering, soft dampers, race mode throttle control, etc)- really cool little car from all accounts. I'm very excited to see one in the flesh.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
11/5/18 10:02 a.m.

Has anyone reported a 1/4 mile time?

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
11/5/18 12:02 p.m.

I too am very excited by this new player, but going from a FiST with 4 doors and a hatch, I would much prefer the Elantra N.  I will have to see how tight the back seat is, having never been in a Veloster.  I don't need to fit Kareem back there, just my 6 year old. 

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
11/5/18 12:28 p.m.
poopshovel again said:

Has anyone reported a 1/4 mile time?

C&D reported 13.9 @ 102mph.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
11/5/18 1:43 p.m.

In reply to BluEvo210 :

I disagree.  Compared to the recent offerings from Nissan and Honda, the Veloster is downright conservative and gracefully styled.   It's no E-Type, but it's way less offensive to look at than a lot of new cars these days.  

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
11/5/18 1:53 p.m.

I would like this inside a Forte 5 body.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/5/18 2:03 p.m.
Snrub said:
poopshovel again said:

Has anyone reported a 1/4 mile time?

C&D reported 13.9 @ 102mph.

HOLY CRAP.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Dork
11/5/18 2:44 p.m.

Looking at that quarter mile time - for all intents and purposes this is a new Mazdaspeed3 with 3 doors instead of 5. All the vitals are roughly the same, I'm sure they go about it a bit different, but even the "they go to roughly 7 grand, but run out of wind" is the same.

Nifty.

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
11/5/18 3:21 p.m.
accordionfolder said:

 for all intents and purposes this is a new Mazdaspeed3 with 3 doors instead of 5. 

It's actually a 4 door in a weird way. They borrowed the passenger side rear door from a RX-8. It's a good setup, although I think they should have done it on the driver's side too. :)

It's also faster than a Mazdaspeed 3 (14.5 @98), brakes better, handles better, weighs 200lbs less. I think the Veloster Turbo R might be the better point of comparison. It's an extra 150lbs lighter and the straight line specs line up. It has more/nicer stuff (panoramic moon roof, heater steering, etc) and costs the same in absolute dollar terms (Mazdaspeed 3 would presumably be a few grand more in today's dollars).

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
11/5/18 3:26 p.m.
BluEvo210 said:

There's no accounting for taste.

The Veloster has always been ugly as sin.  The Veloster N is no different. 

Why are we getting a "Veloster N" when the rest of the world gets the "N" treatment on the Elantra hatchback body?  The Elantra looks much better. 

Agree 100%. Hot hatches are what sell in this country more than oddball FWD sporty cars. If we got the Elantra N, I would have looked long and hard at it as an alternative to the GTI I just bought. I didn't look at the Veloster specifically because of its looks. 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Dork
11/5/18 3:58 p.m.
Snrub said:
accordionfolder said:

 for all intents and purposes this is a new Mazdaspeed3 with 3 doors instead of 5. 

It's actually a 4 door in a weird way. They borrowed the passenger side rear door from a RX-8. It's a good setup, although I think they should have done it on the driver's side too. :)

It's also faster than a Mazdaspeed 3 (14.5 @98), brakes better, handles better, weighs 200lbs less. I think the Veloster Turbo R might be the better point of comparison. It's an extra 150lbs lighter and the straight line specs line up. It has more/nicer stuff (panoramic moon roof, heater steering, etc) and costs the same in absolute dollar terms (Mazdaspeed 3 would presumably be a few grand more in today's dollars).

The gen2 MS3 on stock 225 width tires will do a 14 flat - dip into the 13's with wider meats under it depending on conditions. It's nearly the exact same weight according to all the spec sheets I'm seeing, including C&D. I doubt greatly it's that much better on the braking, especially with decent pads on it (I'm running stock pads good for a 1:49 at RA and a 2:00 @ Sonoma) It's got more torque, but less horse power. On paper and real life they're pretty much identical specs. I won't doubt the magic electric wizardry isn't cool (and will make a huge difference in daily livability), but they line up pretty neatly numbers wise. I'm definitely not knocking the Hyundai, just noting that the numbers are oddly similar. I'm in love with this car (and it's assorted gadgetry), just no reason to buy a new car right now - I hope to make up a reason some time soon ;) 
 

http://www.motorweek.org/reviews/road_tests/2010_mazdaspeed3

"In fact, our 0 to 60 time of 5.2 seconds is over a second quicker, with a similar improvement for the quarter mile at 13.9-seconds and 102 miles per hour."

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