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2019 Hyundai Veloster N Review – There’s a New Face in the Game

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

The recent hatch phase is about to lose two stalwarts within the Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Who, oh who, now will compete with the class-leading Volkswagen Golf GTI and Honda Civic Sort-R?

Will it’s Subaru, bringing again a hatch model of the WRX? Chevy with an precise hopped-up Cruze hatchback? Maybe Toyota with a efficiency model of the brand new Corolla hatch?

No. As you little question know by now, the most recent participant within the hot-hatch recreation is Hyundai, with the N model of its Veloster three-door getting into the fray. Positioned above the sport-trimmed R-Spec Veloster and the top-trim Veloster Turbo (which blends luxurious with sport), the N is supposed to be an reasonably priced track-ready toy that’s able to go from the second it leaves the showroom whereas nonetheless being usable a every day driver.

A peach within the streets and a freak off the streets, because it have been.

(Full disclosure: Hyundai flew me to Sacramento, California, and put me in a pleasant lodge by which I shared the halls with C-list NBA gamers. They fed me a number of nice meals with booze, and rented out Thunderhill Raceway for the day. They could have provided a hat; I didn’t take one.)

Most press occasions run on an identical schedule – dinner the night time earlier than, presentation with breakfast on the morning of the drive, drive for a couple of hours (getting two or three stints behind the wheel), dinner, sleep, fly residence. Hyundai modified issues up for this one, giving us time on monitor and road within the Veloster, in addition to on an autocross.

In a bid to be economical, the model despatched us to the monitor not behind the wheel of Veloster Ns, however in both a refreshed Elantra or Tucson, with a swap on the best way again. Because the drive was principally freeway and the Elantra’s modifications are beauty, I gained’t be writing it up right here. I’ll look forward to a correct mortgage. Similar for the Tucson – although I can inform you the up to date 2.Four-liter engine works nicely for relaxed freeway passing.

The main target right here is on the N. It was the star of the day, the rationale we have been there. With a purpose to maintain issues sane, Hyundai had a rotation going – a few of us took to the road, others to the autocross, and others to the monitor. At sure factors, we switched. Kind of like how we dealt with sure sports activities in fitness center class throughout my highschool days.

My first style of the as much as 275-horsepower N got here alongside California Freeway 162, working west from the monitor. It’s a stunning street with mild curves that don’t actually require braking at freeway speeds – the sort of nation street that you would be able to drive leisurely or with some tempo. Because of dangerous timing and a scarcity of protected passing zones, I used to be pressured right into a relaxed tempo for my whole flip behind the wheel by a field truck I couldn’t safely get round.

This turned out to be a blessing, in a approach. Relieved of the burden to drive aggressively (to not point out understanding I’d be on monitor an hour or two later), I used to be capable of futz with the drive modes and play commuter for a bit. In Regular and Eco modes, the Veloster N felt no extra high-strung than the R-Spec, and maybe even a tad extra relaxed. If the N tickles your fancy however you’re by no means going to drive it anyplace however to the workplace, you gained’t be punished for selecting the highest-performance Veloster mannequin.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

Flick it into Sport, and also you get a way of the automotive’s boy-racer qualities. The steering will get firmer, the exhaust will get louder, the already-stiff suspension feels somewhat stiffer. All automobiles I drove had the elective Efficiency Package deal – extra on that later.

The enjoyable begins once you hit the opposite drive mode change on the steering wheel, activating both N mode or Customized (which principally permits you to modify settings inside the N mode). The exhaust now sounds borderline obnoxious, the steering will get downright heavy, and the automotive stiffens extra. If you wish to drive like a Quick and Livid additional, simply interact N every time you begin the automotive.

On street, there was some preliminary tire noise, even within the softer modes, however it shortly turned obvious that it was brought on by the pavement – the street floor switched to recent pavement a number of miles in, and the automotive obtained appropriately quiet (in Regular and Eco, anyway) on the brisker floor. The clutch and shifter labored nicely in tandem in all modes – the clutch has a fast take-up that makes launches easy and the shifter’s throws, whereas a tad unfastened, are usually satisfying.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

The steering nonetheless feels a bit synthetic, even when firmed up by way of drive mode – Hyundai’s come a great distance relating to steering really feel however it nonetheless doesn’t have it fairly to what I’d name “pure.” Nonetheless, it’s partaking sufficient that you simply gained’t be let down, and it’s not that far off what the GTI gives, however not as properly dialed-in because the Sort-R.

So, nice, the N is a livable day by day driver. Huge whoop – the GTI continues to be higher at being a day by day companion. To not point out that Hyundai didn’t construct this automotive to be a every day – it already has the R-Spec and Turbo if you would like a sporty hatch that’s completely snug on the road. How does the N do when pushed more durable?

Very nicely, because it seems. One of many key items of tech on the automotive is the electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, which exists to scale back understeer and show you how to energy out of a nook faster. Sometimes, it’s onerous to really feel know-how like this in motion, nevertheless it was noticeable on the autocross. The automotive does understeer, which is unsurprising for a front-driver, however as you speed up out of the nook, you’ll be able to really feel the within wheel pulling you onto the straightaway.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

It’s much less noticeable on monitor, primarily as a result of the upper speeds make it more durable to sense. Talking of the monitor – the Veloster N had loads of energy for the straights and stout brakes. Are available to a nook off-line or too scorching, which I did a number of occasions, and the Veloster N understeers its means by way of. Get the road proper, and the automotive strikes with agility from turn-in to apex to trace out.

I’ll admit I had a little bit of a nasty day – I used to be unusually ham-fisted, and almost acquired an impromptu off-road check – besides, I received the sense that for the younger, comparatively inexperienced monitor driver, the Veloster N can be a superb starter car. Understeer is much less problematic than oversteer in lots of instances, and had I recognized the road and brake factors higher, I’d have had much less of it. I additionally went into a number of corners too quick. Drive the monitor appropriately, and the N can be extra rewarding.

It’s not simply concerning the e-LSD. The rack-mounted energy steering results in a faster ratio, and the rear axle is setup to extend yaw response whereas decreasing roll-center peak for higher stability (the entrance axle will increase roll-center peak in a bid to enhance traction).

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

You will get your Veloster N with 18- or 19-inch wheels, and Pirelli Trofeo R Streetable Competitors tires are a dealer-installed choice. It’s all about whether or not you choose the Efficiency Package deal or not – for those who don’t, you get 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot Tremendous Sport tires. Choose the Efficiency Package deal and also you get 235/35R19 Pirelli P Zero summer time rubber, or the choice of the Trofeos. I received a lap or two in a automotive outfitted with the Trofeo tires, and they’re undoubtedly stickier on monitor.

That Efficiency Package deal will add about $2K to the sticker – pricing shouldn’t be but finalized – and bumps the horsepower from 250 to 275 (torque is 260 lb-ft both method), provides the e-LSD and variable-valve exhaust, bigger brake rotors (13.6 inches versus 13 upfront, 12.Four as an alternative of 11.eight out again), and the 19-inch wheels/tires.

The N is stick-shift solely, and normal options embrace Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Blue Hyperlink (Hyundai’s connected-car tech), uplevel audio, keyless entry and beginning, material seats, LED head and taillights, shift indicator, electronically-controlled suspension, and automated local weather management.

Setting the N aside from different Velosters are the entrance and rear fascias, grille, exhaust retailers, and spoiler on the surface. The cabin will get totally different gauges, steering wheel, and shifter.

Dimensionally, the Veloster is shorter in peak and size than a lot of the competitors, whereas being within the center when it comes to width and weight.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

It’s a horny little automotive that provides off simply sufficient of a boy-racer vibe, because of the spoiler, and manages to keep away from being ugly regardless of the totally different styling cues.

Pricing shall be round $28,000 to start out and $30Okay for Ns with Efficiency Package deal. That places it beneath the GTI and Sort-R, however above the Civic Si (which isn’t out there as a hatch). Whereas the GTI is extra refined and a greater all-around automotive, the Veloster N is shut sufficient when it comes to on-street poise that with the worth pricing, it’ll function a tempting various. And it’s virtually definitely extra track-ready because it sits on the showroom flooring.

Then once more, so is the Sort-R – which is a good higher monitor companion than the Veloster N. However good luck getting one at sticker, and the Sort-R is a little more high-strung on the road, to not point out extra in your face with its styling.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

All of it comes down to non-public choice. Need one of the best refinement? Save for the GTI. Need the perfect monitor automotive? Honda is the place to look. Hyundai has cooked up the comfortable medium right here – rather less refined than the VW, just a little (however solely a bit) much less trackable than the Sort-R, however cheaper than each and higher at switching duties.

Positive, you will get a Civic Si and pocket a couple of grand, however you lose the hatch utility.

The Veloster N is a brand new participant within the recreation, and already it’s a contender. Whereas some people will all the time dismiss the Veloster for its appears and three-door weirdness, they’d be remiss to take action. Hyundai has one thing good on its palms.

It’s a peach of automotive, with simply the best trace of freak.

[Images © 2018 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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