Hyundai has pulled off the surprise of the 2018 Detroit auto show, introducing the first North American member of its N performance line.
The most-powerful Veloster ever, the N’s stats read like an enthusiast’s dream—a turbocharged 275-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder sends power to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission with automatic rev-matching. It’s the only available transmission. The powertrains for the base Veloster and Veloster Turbo are largely carryover.
On the N model, an electronically adjustable suspension, summer tires from either Michelin or Pirelli, and a limited-slip differential are also standard, promising what should be the most agile, entertaining Veloster ever.
And it’s clear that Hyundai’s had some fun developing the Veloster N, judging by the silly list of names it’s attached to its technology. The driving mode system is called N Grin Control, and that limited-slip diff is dubbed the N Corner Carving Limited-Slip Differential. A Power Sense front axle is a silly name for such a thing, but Hyundai claims its steering geometry should reduce torque steer and deliver better steering feedback.
All models feature a design that is a pleasant evolution of the first-generation’s design. Hyundai massaged the headlights and grille to better integrate the Veloster with the rest of the lineup. Designers pushed the A-pillars rearward, accentuating the hood, while a slightly more aggressive roofline and angrily flared wheel arches create a sportier profile.
For the Veloster N, red- and gloss-black accents cover the exterior. There’s also a more aggressive front fascia, a large rear wing, a prominent diffuser, a pair of huge exhaust pipes, and unique 18- or 19-inch wheels.
Hyundai hasn’t announced pricing for the 2019 Veloster or even the features of its six trim levels, but the hatch is back and it’s hotter than ever.