While Hyundai has already made clear its intent to go up against the sport compact establishment with nicely-sorted Sport variants of its Elantra sedan and hatchback, the Veloster N will take that concept further with an extra infusion of power and chassis development.
The Veloster is the quirky three-door hatchback Hyundai rolled out in 2012 on a platform shared with the Accent subcompact. It was a charming little car, but even in its quickest turbo form lacked the chassis sophistication to keep up with cars like the VW GTI and Mini Cooper S.
Expect the Veloster N to change that with its 2.0L turbo four-cylinder cranking out 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and the whole package riding on 19-inch wheels and boasting a trim-specific suspension setup that was developed at the famed Nurburgring racetrack in Germany.
Hyundai is aiming higher here, however, with a car that should be able to keep up with the likes of the VW Golf R and Honda Civic Type R.
We have that track time to thank for the Veloster N’s variable exhaust system, big brakes and a torque vectoring system that uses the brakes to help redirect power to the outside front wheel in aggressive cornering.
Hyundai says that last item will be standard in all Veloster models, which begin with a base model powered by a 2.0L naturally-aspirated engine making 147 hp and 132 lb-ft, nominal increases over the 1.6L engine that provided motivation in entry-level versions of the outgoing Veloster.
Returning for this car’s second generation is the Veloster Turbo, powered by the same 1.6L turbo engine that lent 201 hp and 195 lb-ft to the original Turbo variant.
Veloster and Veloster Turbo will come with a six-speed manual transmission plus the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The Veloster N will come with a special six-speed stick with a short-throw shifter, close-ratio gearing and rev-matching capability.
Hyundai says the base and Turbo models will arrive in Canada this spring, while the Veloster N is expected to get here before the end of the year.