Is there anything Hyundai can’t do? A decade ago it decided to jump into the luxury segment and look how good the Genesis G70 is. Even in the EV segment, Hyundai has proven that it’s worth with the Kona Electric. While Hyundai’s lineup is ready to rival just about any segment, there’s one that’s been missing – a sports car. Well Hyundai is now getting ready to fix that with the arrival of its sporty N sub-brand and the first model in the US is the Veloster N, Hyundai’s answer to hot hatches, like the VW GTI and Honda Civic Type R.
The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N is offered in two versions, the base Veloster N is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. If you add the $2,100 Performance Package, the Veloster N packs 275 horsepower. If you can’t drive a manual, then you’ll better learn, since the Veloster N is only available with a six-speed manual transmission. Those specs are a bit lower than you’ll get with the Civic Type R, but more power than you’ll find under the hood of the GTI.
The Veloster N also gets some styling upgrades over the rest of the Veloster lineup, like a large rear wing (not as large as the Civic Type R), more air vents, a more aggressive grille and unique alloy wheels. Overall the look is more aggressive, but not quite as in your face as the Civic Type R.
Inside the Veloster N features sportier N-badged seats, a unique three-spoke steering wheel and unique gauges. The interior isn’t quite as upscale as the Civic Type R or GTI, since it’s covered in hard plastic, but the Veloster N also has an easy to swallow $27,830 starting price. The Civic Type R costs $10k more. The Veloster N is packed with several features, like an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 8-speaker Infinity audio system.
Who cares about the cheap feeling interior, since it’s more about how the Veloster N drives. The 2.0L engine packs a nice punch and given the fact that the Veloster N is almost a foot shorter than the Civic Type R, it’s a hoot to toss around. The engine picks up power with ease and the six-speed manual is pretty precise. Even just the sound of the raspy little engine will put a smile on your face. The suspension does a good job of keeping the Veloster N planted to the road, but it’s not too harsh for your daily commute to the dreaded office. We do wish that the steering had a bit more feedback though.
The Veloster N also features different driving modes based on your mood: Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport+. Press the little checkered flag on the steering wheel and the fun starts, with the activation of the N setting. The suspension tightens up, the throttle response comes more alive and the steering effort increases a bit, all to make the Veloster N even more fun. On a tight back country road, the Veloster N is an agile little hatchback.
The Veloster N is the first N badged model to reach the US and if the future is just as good as the Veloster, we can’t wait to see what Hyundai has planned for its high performance N sub-brand.