REVIEW: Hyundai Veloster N 2022 – ROUES.ca
As in any industry, there are sad days in the auto industry. I’m not talking about anything relating to sales figures, accident statistics or anything else – I’m not even talking about the death of the manual transmission, although you’ll see a bit of it here. – I’m talking about when we have to bid farewell to a model, like we had to do with the Hyundai Veloster – sort of – after the 2020 model year in Canada. The funky three-door hatch with powerful turbo power was left out of the lineup as Hyundai focused on developing and building more Konas and sites etc.
Except… the Veloster isn’t really dead; not completely, anyway, as the N model you see here will end up in Hyundai showrooms for the 2022 model year, and hopefully for all the gearboxes out there, many years from now. Hyundai is intimidating about its N Performance division and treats it as a mainstay of its brand going forward. So the Veloster, which pioneered the N brand in Canada for the 2019 model year, continues to move forward.
Which is a very good thing, because on paper, it’s a hell of a hot hatch.
The power of the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine is rated at 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, delivered to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic, which we have. . here today. There’s also an electronic limited-slip differential for that extra boost when getting out of corners or needing to eliminate understeer, often a bugaboo FWD.
Stylishly, the most eye-catching detail is the paint, which is called “Shooting Star Metallic”; I don’t know what this means as I’ve never seen a shooting star up close, but its matte appearance is perfect for a vehicle of this type. The red highlights on the side sills and parts of the lower front splitter shine brightly on the bottom and have a daytime quality. Add in the two-tone alloy rims, red brake calipers and the aggressive roof spoiler, and you’ve got a compact that exceeds its weight class in terms of presence.
Inside, it’s not as flashy – it’s actually surprisingly subdued – but there are powder blue highlights on the seats, seat belts, gearshift, drive mode buttons, and even around the engine start and stop button to add an “N” flare to the procedure.
The Veloster’s interior digs might be tame on the surface, but they make up for it by providing a very cool infotainment system with sleek graphics, a selection of themes but most of all, one of the coolest Riding Mode screens. that you have ever seen. What looks like a g-meter is actually a menu for the different systems you can tweak – engine, transmission, e-LSD, exhaust sound (!), ESC, steering, and suspension – and it’s starting to get tricky. feel the more you play with it. this. I actually like the visual way it does its job quite a bit, as it’s a refreshing departure from the lists and dropdowns commonly seen.
You can choose from pre-integrated driving modes, or do as I did and create your own, accessible via the powder blue colored “N” button on the steering wheel. I kept most of the systems in the second most aggressive mode, but pushed the exhaust rating and drivetrain all the way to 11, so to speak. The exhaust note is really pretty good which, while artificially amplified, doesn’t sound wrong and the DCT is so responsive you would hate to override it by having it in one of the ‘tamer’ exhaust modes. Not me, dear friends; I wanted the full on the passenger car flat the exhaust can deliver, and that instant thrust feel you get every time you swap a cog by flipping the wheel-mounted paddles. It’s so good that after driving both – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – I think I would have the DCT on the manual. It should be noted, however, that vehicles equipped with the six-speed manual transmission should achieve better fuel economy, according to figures claimed by Hyundai.
Of course, we can’t just give all the credit to the quick acceleration you get at the feet of the drivetrain; this 2.0L four-cylinder is a real catch, with fantastic mid-range torque that both helps you get off the line quickly, while also giving you the best punch you have to add that little bit of extra speed when traveling at high speed on the freeway (or on the race track). Not only that, but if you really want a boost, you can get one – literally – by pushing a steering wheel-mounted button marked “NGR.”
That means “N Grin Shift” – okay, then – and adds an extra 10hp boost for 20 seconds when squeezed. It’s a pretty darn cool feature that until now has been mostly reserved for much higher-end cars. Or video games.
Believe it or not, however, as good as the acceleration and powertrain are, it’s actually matched if not beaten on the Veloster N highlight reel by the chassis. It starts with the e-LSD (which admittedly has a foot in both the powertrain and handling camp), which you can really feel doing its job as it pulls you out of the corners and helps you navigate them. to cross. However, I found the e-LSD max level to be a bit extreme; leaving it in the middle setting provided a good mix of performance and comfort.
After all of that, it’s all about the steering rack and dampers, both tuned to provide instant response and, in so doing, instill a level of confidence in drivers. It’s a car you can take from summit to summit with a level of confidence that is hard to find in this segment. In addition to responsiveness, there is a feeling of solidity and quality through the steering rack; very little vibration, very little nervousness in the face of repeated bumps or ripples. This is what you expect from your performance car; the knowledge that very little energy is wasted by unnecessary vibrations or system shocks.
That Hyundai has managed to build a hatchback that can stand out among the traditional segment leaders while barely breaking a sweat is truly one of the great stories of modern fun cars. As a brand, Hyundai has excelled in the SUV / CUV and Hybrid / EV worlds, and the Veloster N is proof that even through it all, they allow themselves to let go a little bit and design exceptional performance. cars in the process.
The vehicle was provided to the writer by the automaker. Content and vehicle ratings were not subject to approval.