Hyundai unveiled the 2018 Hyundai Veloster N at the North American International Motor Show.
The 2018 Hyundai Veloster N has broken cover at the Detroit Motor Show and you know what? It looks alright.
Building on the (critical) success of the i30 N, the Veloster will also have an N badge slapped on the rear. If it’s half as good as the N appears to be (we’ve not yet driven the i30, but watch this space), the Veloster N will be the complete package.
The N features Hyundai’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 202kW (275bhp) and 353Nm. Alfred Biermann’s
M N team did the chassis work in various places around the world, inevitably calling the Nurburgring home. Those numbers will be familiar to fans of Hyundai’s i30 N.
As it stands, only the US market is confirmed and various sources are suggesting it won’t be UK-bound and maybe not even Europe-bound. Produced in Hyundai’s Ulsan plant, the Veloster will go on sale in the second quarter of 2018.
Like the i30, the Veloster is a front-driver with a six-speed manual. The N also scores the red accents of the i30 and an all-round lift in visual aggro.
The less sporty models should be alright too, with a decent pair of 2.0-litre and 1.6-litre turbo engines, again lifted straight from the i30 range, available with manual or automatic transmissions. The 2.0-litre is a torque converter and the 1.6 turbo the dual-clutch semi-auto.
Hyundai clearly has more in store for the N brand, including for both the i30 and the Veloster. You don’t poach half of BMW’s M division for a couple of 200kW front drive hatchbacks…
See more of the 2018 Hyundai Veloster N in the full gallery below.
Hyundai Veloster v1.0
I have, in the past, called the first-generation Veloster “a Frankenstein car”, which it was. Cobbled together from a few different Hyundais, it was nevertheless a very, very cool car. Not many manufacturers would have the guts to spend the money on an asymmetrical design.
For those who don’t know, the Veloster is a four door hatchback. As in, three passenger doors and the liftback door. The driver’s side has just one long, coupe-style door for the coupe cread. The passenger sid has a shorter front door and a semi-concealed rear door for practicality.
Unlike the lazy sods at Mini who just left the suicide door on the “wrong” side for right-hand drive markets, Hyundai made the Veloster properly no matter which side the steering wheel is. It seems that from now on the extra expense for right-hand drive markets is a bridge too far. There’s no official word on that, but it’s unlikely right-hook production is going to happen.
The early cars certainly looked good but they weren’t brilliant to drive. The Turbo was a laugh but the obstructive clutch in the manual along with a slightly dodgy gearbox meant it wasn’t really a sports car. It also spent a little more time than was absolutely necessary bouncing off the stops when thrown through corners. But I really liked it.
Having said that, it was still a lot of fun to drive and it really did look good. Over the years it evolved and in Australia at least, the ride and handling had the magic of the local suspension team applied. This was a good thing and the cars on sale today are pretty good.
Along with the improvement in ride and handling, the looks picked up some aggression and the engine and transmission packages regularly received attention, with the dual-clutch transmission joining the six-speed manual. It wasn’t the last word in dynamism – and goes up against the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ in a lot of markets despite them being conceptually different cars – but kept selling well anyway.
The modders love them and it doesn’t seem to matter how old you are which gender – everyone loves the Veloster. Or hates it. Nothing in between.
US fans can click here for more info on the Hyundai Veloster N.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.