With the 2019 Veloster N, Hyundai housing has added a critical pillar to its U.S. market appeal. Over the last two decades, the South Korean automaker has improved vehicle quality and styling to compete directly with Japanese and American players. With the introduction of N Performance, the company can finally switch from defense to offense. Compelling, attainable performance products like the Veloster N will re-shape young customer opinions (the most important demographic for mainstream brands) like never before. For our part, we can’t wait to sink our teeth into more N Performance goodness.
Open either of the Veloster N‘s front doors and you’ll notice N-specific sill panels and floor mats. Other changes from the standard Veloster include sport seats covered in grippy cloth with blue accent stitching, blue seatbelts, a unique steering wheel and an N gauge cluster with an integrated shift indicator light. Delve into the Veloster N’s infotainment system and you’ll discover adjustable settings for most of the mechanical parts.
The Veloster N is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The optional Performance Package’s hotter ECU tune pops my tester up to 275 horsepower and extends the same 260 pound-feet of torque further up in the rev range to 4,700 rpm instead of just 4,000 rpm for the standard car.
The Veloster N utilizes a tuned version of the Sonata Turbo’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, producing 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Peak torque checks in at just 1,450 rpm and holds on until near the fuel cut-off at 6,750 pm. A six-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission option and features a reinforced clutch, shorter shift throws, and clearer gate separation and gear engagement than the unit found in the Veloster Turbo. The powertrain is mounted on improved bushings that are stiffer but still offer good NVH.
Standard Convenience Features
The 2019 Veloster N’s list of standard convenience features is solid but lacks the upgradable content of its competitors. An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity. Navigating the crisp, responsive display is painless and aided by a set of physical buttons and knobs below the screen. A TFT display between the tach and speedo shows media, vehicle speed, and telemetry information.
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 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 bastard too, with a phlegmy gruffness from the intake and an optional electronically adjustable exhaust system.
Pricing will be around $28,000 to start and $30K for Ns with Performance Package. That puts it beneath the GTI and Type-R, but above the Civic Si (which is not available as a hatch). While the GTI is more refined and a better all-around car, the Veloster N is close enough in terms of on-street poise that with the value pricing, it will serve as a tempting alternative. And it’s almost certainly more track-ready as it sits on the showroom floor.