2019 Hyundai Veloster N: Does It Bite Or Just Bark?

  • The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N has a number of suspension enhancements for the track.
  • A “standard” engine is available, although the larger 2.0-liter turbo will warrant better performance.  

Looks like Hyundai is serious about this whole N business. All the cool kids got their in-house performance shops: Audi has the S and RS models, Merc has AMG, Cadillac has the V Series, and so on. Now Hyundai (of all people) wants a piece of that pie. Ergo, we are now faced with the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N.

The overriding question: does this mean it goes faster, or is it just a bunch of trim?

On The Clock

The Korean car manufacturing giant went so far as to roll out the Veloster N at Thunderhill Raceway. Not a bad little track, to be sure, and it’s also a good way for Hyundai to say,“We’re serious about this performance stuff.” The other side of that coin is how this is a race track buddy. You better be serious, because the stopwatch don’t lie.

Engine & Transmission

Starting with the lump, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N comes with a larger 2.0-liter turbo with direct-injection versus the “normal” Veloster Turbo. The N branded mill is good enough for 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. o’torque. The inter-cooler is separated from the condenser and radiator for better charge cooling. The induction system has a “two-stage” setup for maximum output at all rpm ranges. Hyundai doesn’t go into detail, but I surmise it some sort of V-Tec/VVTi sort of deal, or perhaps they monkeying with the intake runner length somehow?

There’s also a “standard” Veloster N powertrain putting out 250 ponies and the same torque, but why would you want that? Shoot, why would Hyundai even offer it?

That high-output plant is hooked to a close-ratio, short-throw six-speed manual with downshift rev-matching. The synchro rings are carbon-coated and the gears are reinforced for smoother operation and lower shift force. The N’s clutch has a double-layer facing disc design for increased strength and torque handling.

A special “load-transfer suspension” reduces unnecessary dive during braking, while also enhancing control through corners. The load-transfer design also reduces compression in the rear suspension under acceleration. Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Now Hyundai (of all people) wants a piece of that pie. Ergo, we are now faced with the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N. Click To Tweet

Exhaust System

When it comes to getting the bad air out, there’s a multi-mode, high-flow active sport exhaust system with a variable exhaust actuator. If you flip the exhaust into “N mode” you get a nice engine over-run exhaust crackle during up-shifts and rev-matched downshifts. Hyundai does this with an Electronic Sound Generator that “enhances the natural powertrain sound for an even sportier driving resonance between the engine and the driver.”

You know what would have worked even better Hyundai? A good, straight exhaust system without all the monkey business. Would’a saved weight too. In case you’re interested, the Veloster N gets 22 city, 28 highway, and 25 combined mpg.

Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Steering & Suspension

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N is more than just an engine, thankfully. The Veloster N’s Power Sense Axle geometry has a zero-scrub radius for more precise steering, quicker response, and a direct on-center feel. The power steering system is rack-mounted and secured in three spots for “reduced flex,” especially during high-performance driving.

An available, electronically-controlled torque-vectoring system is there via the N Corner-Carving Limited-Slip Differential (ha!). This enhances launch performance and maximizes cornering speed. However, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N also serves up a wide range of driver tuning via the “N Grin Control System.” No, seriously: N Grin Control System? Just stop.

Anyhoo, modes include Normal, Sport, N, Eco, and N Custom. Each of these change the throttle response, rev-matching, exhaust note, active differential tuning, suspension damping rates, steering feel, and yaw-control. The N Custom mode lets you tweak stuff to your individual desires.

Braking comes via 13.6-inch rotors in front and 12.4-inchers at the rear.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N. Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Styling & Design

In the looks department – because you want everyone to know you’re driving a special Hyundai, don’t you –  the Veloster N has a unique fascia and grille with brake cooling air ducts. LED headlamps and 19-inch star-design wheels, of course. The 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero summer tires are an exclusive compound, says Hyundai.

Of course there’s a rear spoiler, integrated diffuser, and LED tail lamps.

Color Palette

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N comes in four colors: Ultra Black, Chalk White, Racing Red, and Performance Blue. The interior is basically black with unique molding accents to match the exterior color. Special N-treatments include the cloth sport seats (with hefty bolstering), steering wheel, shift knob, door sill plates, and instrument cluster.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N interior layout. Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

You want everyone to know you're driving a special Hyundai, don't you? Click To Tweet

All Said & Done . . .

So? Does all this add up to less time per lap? Dunno. Hyundai needs to get us a couple of these so we can run it back-to-back with other factory hotrods of the import-tuner variety. Until then, we will just have to guess at how good or bad the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N will be.

If nothing else, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N is now part of Forza Motorsports.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle formatFollow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

2019 Hyundai Veloster N Gallery

Photos & Source: Hyundai Motor America.

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