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"Classic Hot-Rod Formula"

For 2018 Hyundai followed a simple method on launching the all-new Veloster N of a generous power-to-weight ratio. If something about it seems familiar, that's because it is. Albert Biermann, an ex-BMW M boss, now part of Hyundai and a key player with development of the Veloster N, ensured to carry on his decades-long positive track record for engaging products. Bier used the Sonata derived Theta 4-cylinder engine and built it up with new pistons, lower compression ratio, larger twin-scroll turbos and a revised exhaust system. Exclusive to the optional Performance Package is an improved overboost strategy along with other features to complement the increased output of 275-horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission offered for 2018 is a rev-matching 6-speed manual.

Not that Hyundai had to ask a German how to make a car faster. The Veloster N follows the classic hot-rod formula—dropping the engine from a bigger car into a smaller one. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is borrowed from the Sonata family sedan. A larger turbo and a free-flowing exhaust add 5 hp, bringing the total to 250, with 260 lb-ft of torque. Opting for the Performance package adds boost, which bumps output to 275 hp.
Source: Road & Track

Biermann tells us Hyundai’s development process for this new brand of performance cars is no different from BMW’s, save that the N division has no dedicated engine-development team. Instead, the Veloster N’s mill is built from the turbocharged 2.0-liter Theta inline-four offered in the Sonata mid-size sedan. With new pistons to lower the compression ratio, a larger twin-scroll turbocharger, and a less restrictive exhaust system, the engine sees its output rise to an estimated 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque in the base Veloster N. The optional Performance package fitted to the car we drove includes a revised overboost strategy that pushes peak horsepower to an estimated 275.
Source: Car and Driver

Powering the Veloster N we tested is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, which is rated at 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Like the Honda, it arrives with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox sending power to the front wheels through a limited-slip differential. The exhaust tips on the standard Veloster 2.0 exit in the middle, yet the upgraded N model moves them to each side of the rear valance – the overall appearance is European, despite being manufactured in Korea.
Source: KBB
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Honed at the Nürburgring

Contrary to what some car makers do, after rigorous testing and tuning on the Nurburgring, naming it solely after the legendary proving grounds wasn't their intention. Instead, N initially represents the location of Hyundai's Korean based R&D Center, Namyang where it was born and derives many existing components from. The other part of N represents Nürburgring. What we get from that is a well rounded hot hatch that can either be tame or show it track-focused performance abilities via a steering wheel mounted performance mode. An "N Custom" mode allows owners to fine tune the Velosters performance to their liking, great for the closest thing you can find to the 'Ring. Apparently the N isn't as exciting off the line as it's key rival, the Civic Type R. Hopefully this will be addressed in future year models.

The turbo is a twin-scroll design. That helps the engine build power right off idle and gives the 3100-pound Veloster an eye-opening ferocity as the LEDs above the gauges announce that you’re about to hit the 6750-rpm redline. How quick this car is remains to be seen, but we can say that it comes across as much quicker than Hyundai’s claimed 6.1-second 0-to-62-mph time for the 275-hp version. It’s a mean-sounding little ******* too, with a phlegmy gruffness from the intake and an optional electronically adjustable exhaust system.

Perhaps to prove that N could also stand for “Nürburgring,” Hyundai took us to the German track to lap the grueling 12.9-mile Nordschleife. In a vote of confidence for their newborn hellion, they gave us two laps in the 275-hp car. Hit the steering-wheel mounted button with a checkered flag on it, and the Veloster enters its eat-your-face N setting—shocks stiffen, stability control slackens, steering effort increases, throttle response quickens. With the optional exhaust, the tailpipes get extra vocal, too.
Source: Road & Track

Configuring the Hyundai into its track-ready mode is effortless – simply depress the “N” switch on the bottom half of the steering wheel. Down a bit on power compared to the Type R, the Veloster N doesn’t accelerate with the same livid ferociousness as its rival, but its engine doesn’t feel as peaky either – it's more tractable throughout the rev range.
Source: KBB

During two laps of the 12.9-mile Nordschleife and an hour-long tear through the surrounding countryside, we reveled in an animated engine, faithful steering, assured body control, steadfast brakes, a remarkable resistance to understeer, and emotions we’ve never before unlocked while piloting a Hyundai.
Source: Car and Driver
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Rigid & Agile

Regardless of how you'll be driving the N, its rigidity and agility shines through, according to the many reputable publications that had extensive seat time both on the 'Ring and local roads. Quantified, the unibody is 6.9% more rigid compared to regular 2019+ Veloster models thanks to; additional welds, improved strut towers braces, brake-based chassis vectoring for reduced understeer, and many more for natural and balanced cornering. Steering is "unbelievably precise" and goes where you want it to, but still unmatched to the Type R. These accomplishments and others, should push owners looking to unleash the N's true potential to seriously consider optional items, like the wide Pirelli P Zero's and eLSD. Overall, this was no easy feat for Hyundai, especially with benchmarks already set by rival brands.

The Veloster N’s remarkable agility was apparent by the first corner. The second corner arrived and giggles hit; this thing is fun. In the third corner, I put on a serious face and pushed the nose harder and harder, in an attempt to provoke understeer. The chassis simply stuck without fuss, thanks in part to the optional electronically controlled limited-slip differential, which bites harder in N mode.
Credit also goes to the tires. An 18-inch, 225-section-width Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tire is standard, and a 235-section-width Pirelli P Zero made specifically for the Veloster N is optional. Fitted with the Pirellis, the Veloster consistently surprised with its grip. Taking advantage of that rubber required deep changes to the Veloster. Additional welds throughout the unibody, as well as reinforcements for the floor and strut towers, provide a structure that’s 6.9 percent more rigid; the strut front and multilink rear suspension is lower and stiffer. Brake-based chassis vectoring clamps the rear brakes individually to delay the onset of understeer. It’s tuned subtly, never causing the car to feel unnatural or unbalanced in a corner.
Source: Road & Track

With slightly less aggressive tires, the Hyundai also lacks some of the Honda’s steering sharpness – yet it holds the corner with equal resolve, thanks to a remarkable electronically controlled limited-slip differential that keeps everything in perfect balance. The Hyundai is unbelievably precise — point it exactly where you want it to go, and it does.
Source: KBB

But don’t think of the N as a simple parts-swapping exercise. Compared with other Velosters, this one earns additional unibody welds and stiffening braces where the struts mount, across the center tunnel, and tying the front subframe to the body. The power-steering motor is located on the rack, while lesser Velosters use a column-mounted unit, which reduces inertia and friction in the system to improve feel. Biermann has also made a point to increase the self-centering torque in the calibration of each Hyundai vehicle he has touched. That makes the on-center valley more prevalent and gives the steering more heft off-center.
Source: Car and Driver

Out amongst the Ring’s roughly 170 corners, the Veloster N was as unflappable as a front-wheel-drive car can be. It cornered flat with a reassuring lack of understeer. The optional e-diff plays a large part in this—just point toward the corner exit, mash the throttle, and instead of nasty scrub, you’ll scramble out of the curve. The steering is light and slightly artificial, but Biermann worked hard to optimize the electric-boosted rack, relocating the motor from the column to the rack, improving feedback
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Source: Automobile Mag
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Practical

Not only did Hyundai hone the Veloster N's performance, but its practicality as well. This split personality has been well documented in the round of first drive reviews produced so far. Now in its second generation, the Veloster launched in 2011 as an everyday 2-door coupe, growing to include an additional door, and ultimately building on everything we love about daily drivers; adequate passenger volume, generous cargo space, and more. As a performance focused model, it gets a combined mileage of 25 mpg's, selectable drive modes (N, Eco, Normal and N-Custom), and an optional eight speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in future year models. Even older demographics are said to find interest in the all-new N.

On a brief tour of the roads around the Ring, the Veloster N was a mild-mannered companion—aside from a downhill section of autobahn where it exceeded its 155-mph governor by 10 mph. In Normal mode, its quietest and softest setting, the snottiness of the engine and exhaust clears up, and the electronically controlled dampers become supple. The over-40 demographic will fully approve. That said, Germany’s glassy pavement may have had a lot to do with the agreeable ride.

Appearances are important in this segment, although restraint isn’t essential, as the Civic Type R has proven. In N-spec, the Veloster design retains its split personality—a coupe on the driver’s side and a four-door hatch on the other. The Veloster’s rear door does make getting into the smallish rear seat easier.
Source: Road & Track

“That is, I think, the uniqueness of the Veloster N. It covers a wide range of driving character, from race track driving to going to the office every day, going to the grocery store,” Biermann says of Hyundai’s newest hot hatch. Even with all the go-faster bits, the Veloster N maintains the standard car’s 2+1 door setup and hatchback practicality. It returns 22 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined mpg, so it’s not too hard on fuel either.
Source: TFL Car

A six-speed manual is the sole transmission for the moment, and it includes a rev-matching function that can be switched on and off with a dedicated button on the steering wheel. Biermann says an optional eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is coming, although not for a couple of years.
Source: Car and Driver
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Conventional

Obvious downsides of the all-new Veloster N are few, the most noticeable is its interior that falls short of the Type R, but ahead of the Focus RS. Styling of both vehicles correlate well to the driving character they produce and will cater to different buyer types which is important to consider. The Type R is punchy off the line, direct in challenging turns and delivers brute performance. Design wise its "futuristic" and stands out in many ways, the Veloster N, not so much. Instead the N's more tame character shows through inside and out with softer lines and a more traditional look. However, essential needs have been met and Hyundai has a solid foundation to work from, hopefully Biermann brings some much needed BMW influence to the cabin.

Hyundai and Honda have taken two very different approaches to interior design. The Veloster N is more conventional — traditional, in a sense — with a primary instrument cluster defined by round analog gauges (tachometer, speedometer, fuel level and coolant temperature) and a small multifunction display in the middle. The Type R is more futuristic — technically advanced — with a primary digital display that alters its appearance based on the drive mode. The unique themes are continued throughout their cabins, with Hyundai using traditional round knobs and rectangular buttons. Honda, on the other hand, relies on its infotainment stack for many actions, and uses frustrating sliders for the audio volume control (the company has listened to the complaints and is bringing the “volume knob” back).
The Hyundai Veloster N delivers nearly all the Honda’s performance, yet with only a minimal amount of high-performance compromise. The cabin of the Veloster N is more comfortable, its ride is a bit smoother, the manual gearbox is easier to live with — and you don’t have to explain its rear wing to strangers.
Source: KBB

The changes to the interior aren’t quite as eye-opening. A leather-wrapped steering wheel with a chunky rim and bolstered sport seats are nice upmarket touches. As in a BMW, there’s a variable redline that moves upward as the engine warms. Light-blue trim pieces sprinkled throughout help break the monotony, but the rest of the interior is filled with dour hard plastics. Hyundai’s touchscreen works quickly and reliably, and the rest of the interior design is clean and uncluttered. But the materials could be better, given the premium the N will demand over a regular Veloster.
Source: Road & Track
 

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Put simply this is a value oriented hot hatch, and I think in that regard it succeeds. It also looks like Hyundai is finally stepping up their aftermarket/performance division which has always been somewhere they've fallen short of rivals.
 

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There has been fairly decent support for the Genesis coupe but oddly enough, not nearly as much for the new Elantra GT. Imo that's a missed opportunity because its got plenty of kit and a very willing motor from factory.
 

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The Elantra is more geared towards being a family hauler than a hot hatch. But now that we are finally starting to see some N variants for North America, who know what kind of new trim levels we will see across Hyundai's lineup.
 
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