I want to start a debate about which hatchback is the hottest on the market. Well from my vantage point, there are a few solid contenders, but Hyundai is throwing a wrench into the argument with the Veloster N.
Hyundai Namyang research center
WHAT’S BEHIND THE “N”? – I had an awesome behind-the-drivers seat and I must say that this kick-butt Veloster N combines attention-getting torque upon acceleration, tight handling and devilish good looks. Its the real deal. “N” is included in its name because that’s the first letter of Namyang – the location of Hyundai’s global R&D facility, where the models are created. And it’s also the first letter of Nürburgring, the epic track where they’re further tested and developed. Hyundai says the goal of N is to send a race-inspired thrill surging through you the moment you grab the wheel. Ok, I’ll reluctantly admit that I had that exact experience once I got behind the wheel, cranked it up and kicked it into gear.
HANDLE THIS – This is the best handling car Hyundai has ever produced and with the right marketing, the Veloster N can make a cultural impact in the segment . It it the culmination of a perfect fusion of Korean technology, reliability and vision, as well as an injection of German design and performance tuning.
The torque the Veloster delivers is awesome
DESIGN MATTERS – Incorporating a huge hungry-looking hexagonal grille, sharp up slanting headlights, big wheels, red brake calipers and a sporty rear roof wing, the hatch’s addictive sky blue and bright red accents around the front spoiler and side skirts put it very much in a league with the iconic VW Golf GTI. The funky 3-door layout (4-door is you include the hatchback) with a rear passenger door only built into the right-hand side of the car, give the Veloster N special presence on the road.
WHAT’S INSIDE? – Inside, this hot hatch gets a suitably sporty cockpit made out of inexpensive materials with nice touches like the leather wrapped gear-shifter and steering wheel, competent 8-inch Blue Link infotainment and satellite navigation system, audio features and Android and Apple connectivity features, as well as supportive seats for those extended-right-boot-into-corner moments tweaked N-spec performance version we tested is rated at 275hp peak power and 260lb-ft of torque. Even without flicking on the launch control, the Veloster N rockets off the line, jumping from zero to 60mph in under 6 seconds.
PERFORMANCE & ATTITUDE This aggressive little hatchback is powered by a 275hp turbocharged engine, 19-inch wheels, a launch control and torque steer. Torque is particularly strong between 3000-6000 rpm. to be clear, this car is quick with a fat exhaust that produces an orchestra of growls, pops and crackles exuding from the exhaust when you take off. The 19-inch Pirelli P-Zeros has plenty of grip and tightness.
One look at the rear (above) and you can almost hear it growling and ready to be driven. The Veloster N hatch feels light, nimble, confident in corners and transfers its weight to near perfection. For just under $30,000, The Veloster N delivers better cost performance than most sporty hatchbacks and we’re likely to nominate it for one of our AutoFOCUS Awards in the segment.
The aggressive rear speaks for itself. Agreed?
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