The Hyundai Veloster N is America’s i30 N | Top Gear
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The Hyundai Veloster N is America’s i30 N

The US gets its own, oddly doored version of the mega new hot hatch

Published: 16 Jan 2018

Remember the Hyundai Veloster? It was sold in the UK for a few years, but dropped in 2014 after proving a bit too niche. It carried on in other markets, mind, proving particularly popular in the US.

It boasted a surprisingly good chassis, cloaked in an asymmetrical body with a single door on one side, and a pair of them on the other. There was plenty to hold your interest. But what it lacked was power.

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That’s something the new Hyundai Veloster N sorts out from the off. It shares its 271bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine and other assorted oily bits with the Hyundai i30 N, which has just gone on sale in Europe. In short, then, the Veloster N is America’s Hyundai hot hatch.

It comes with the same assortment of driving modes, including the N button which puts everything – engine noise, suspension stiffness, steering weight – into its hardest mode. There’s an electronically controlled differential on the front axle to ensure little (or none) of its 271bhp is scrabbled away by the front wheels.

They’re 18in as standard, with 19s wrapped in grippy Pirelli P-Zero rubber optional. It comes only with a six-speed manual gearbox – aka stick-shift – with the car rev-matching downchanges if you like. Though you can turn that off and do it yourself.

There are even shift lights as you approach the redline, which illuminates in different colours to show when the engine is warmed through. With engineers nicked from BMW M and Mercedes-AMG on board, this is a properly developed thing.

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It possesses styling cues familiar from the Hyundai i30 N, too, with the same Performance Blue signature colour and much red and black trim. Those tweaks are all applied to the redesigned base Veloster, with lesser powered versions including a 201bhp Turbo.

The Veloster may have had a bit of a rejig but retains its divisive door layout. The styling is perhaps a bit more conventional up front, while more aggressive at the rear, with new lights, grille and spoilers applied to a similar overall shape. Overall, it's as quirky as ever. But sadly, it’s unlikely to make it back to the UK.

As is the way these days, the Veloster has made its debut not only at the Detroit motor show, but in a computer game – Forza Motorsport 7 – while there’ll even be a Veloster in movie Ant-Man and the Wasp. If they want to tease us Brits that we won’t get them here, they’re doing it across multiple platforms…

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