Auto evaluations the 2020 Hyundai Veloster N.
Two years nearly to the day after my first encounter with Korean automaker Hyundai’s most superior sports activities automotive, I had event to take the wheel of the 2020 Hyundai Veloster N on Canadian soil – properly, street. Sadly, this check drive happened on roads in and across the better Montreal space and never on a closed circuit, the place the little N is at its most comfy expressing itself to its fullest.
Whereas there’s no arguing that the monitor is its most flattering atmosphere, the Veloster N was additionally designed to be pushed twelve months a yr, winter and summer season, although everyone knows roads in our nation that may make driving most disagreeable when a automotive is provided with a concrete-hard suspension like this one’s. The excellent news is that the Veloster N’s digital changes enable for a barely extra tolerable experience. Barely. I will come again to this later.
What’s sure is that the Veloster N is a part of an endangered species. Reasonably priced efficiency vehicles have gotten more and more uncommon because the calendar flips to 2021. In actual fact, beginning with the 2021 model-year, the Veloster N is the one and solely Veloster out there available on the market – the opposite two variations are leaving us after 2020. And even this variant’s survival could possibly be due primarily to Hyundai not desirous to have all its advertising efforts relating to the newly created N efficiency division go for naught.
On the street to extinction?
Sadly, we shouldn’t be too be shocked if the Korean big pulls the plug on this 275-hp Veloster bomb as soon as the opposite N-branded choices wash ashore in North America. It might take just a few years earlier than the Elantra N, Kona N, and others are all implanted right here, however as soon as they’re it could be curtains for the Veloster N.
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Whereas we look forward to the dual-clutch…
The addition of a dual-clutch transmission was inevitable, firstly as a result of Hyundai has already been counting on this know-how for quite a few years, but in addition as a result of these days such an answer is critical to enchantment to a wider viewers. But it surely didn’t occur this year- the brand new 8-speed unit will make its debut on the 2021 model of the Veloster N. However till we get this element that may doubtlessly improve the value of the automotive, the subcompact comes commonplace with a superb outdated 6-speed guide gearbox… and even an old school handbrake for managed skidding!
About that guide gearbox, let’s simply say that it provides a contact of forced-but-joyful engagement between driver and automotive. The Veloster N’s dealing with is comparatively exact, whereas the clutch is just not as heavy as in an American muscle automotive… fortuitously!
Is it the very best guide transmission within the business? The reply is a convincing no, however the model’s engineers are to be congratulated for producing this transmission, which I feel is essentially the most exact within the model’s historical past. Hyundai has by no means been thought of probably the greatest on this regard, so progress is welcome.
Due to the electronics
Due to the 2 blue buttons on the spokes of the game steering wheel, you possibly can shortly change the character of the automotive. Not surprisingly, the Eco and Regular modes have been used little or no throughout my week-long check drive. The Sport mode is good for brief metropolis jaunts, when you are warned that the N mode is pure insanity until you have got entry to freshly paved streets. The suspension is just too stiff, whereas the sound of the exhaust system is great… for the driving force. It could be rather less so for the encircling neighborhood.
All of that’s the reason the Customized mode is ideal for all circumstances; the driving force can select the depth of the totally different settings. Thus I used to be in a position to proceed to terrorize the pedestrians in my neighborhood by multiplying the downshifts (every of which comes with a bang that places a smile on driver’s face, assured), with out affected by overly agency suspension changes. The N-mode ought to – until you are a sadomasochist – be reserved for closed-circuit classes, the place the Veloster N can actually let its freak flag fly.
An “cheap” inside
The Veloster N jogs my memory of lots of our present pocket rockets available on the market… and even just a few which are not out there. Recall, for instance, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, which was out there till 2015 and was a formidable efficiency machine that bought at a excessive worth, however the low-cost plastic dashboard of which betrayed its modest origins. It is a lot the identical factor with the Subaru WRX STI and even the Golf R, though these two are frankly higher constructed than the defunct Mitsubishi.
The tie that binds these little 250-hp+ brutes is that all the things that justifies the somewhat hefty price ticket is just about out of sight, beneath the hood and even beneath the physique.
The Veloster N isn’t any exception to this unwritten rule although, I have to admit, it does higher than some in terms of inside high quality. Nonetheless, the game seats – which aren’t wrap-around sufficient in my humble opinion – are coated with generic material, and “economic system”-grade plastic covers the door panels and centre console. It is simple to see the automotive’s low-budget origins.
The driving place could be very near perfection, which may solely be achieved with a power-adjustable driver’s seat. As anticipated, the house reserved for back-seat passengers and even baggage is fairly stingy. That stated, it is truly higher than within the first Veloster, which was primarily based on the Hyundai Accent’s platform (relaxation assured, that’s not the case).
Behind the wheel
We’re presently experiencing one of the vital shifts in automotive historical past, with electrical mobility on everybody’s lips, even these of Hyundai’s massive brass. However the simplicity and effectivity of this Veloster N reassure me relating to the eagerness driving lovers can nonetheless manifest, and relating to automakers’ capacity to answer that. Hyundai, by insisting on holding a automotive as impractical because the Veloster N in its lineup, is proving that vehicles might be enjoyable to drive daily.
The Veloster N is a mix of the normal vehicle – by which I imply those who stood out within the 1980s and 90s, these sporty compacts just like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Honda Civic Si – and technologically superior trendy vehicles with their touchscreens, their drive modes and, like on this occasion, their restricted slip differentials with torque vector management.
The final phrase
I really like this factor that I liken to a stick of dynamite on wheels. Acceleration is electrifying, steering is exact and the dealing with of the guide gearbox solely provides to the enjoyable over time. The sound it produces is A1, although for those who really feel like driving discreetly, simply take a look at the 2 powder-blue buttons on the steering wheel. There are some faults with it, however for driving pleasure, the Veloster N is a first-in-class automotive. Lengthy dwell this odd little duck, whilst I acknowledge the chance that its days amongst us are numbered. Thankfully, the N philosophy will stay!
Its distinctive design
The astonishing driving pleasure
Its “reasonably priced” worth of $35,663 (earlier than preparation charges)
We like much less
Simply too uncomfortable (in N mode)
The standard of sure supplies inside
Honda Civic Kind R
Mini Cooper S JCW / GP
Subaru WRX / WRX STI
Volkswagen Golf GTI / R
Highway Assessments and Critiques
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