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2019 Hyundai Veloster N brings Korean performance to the US

Hyundai believes that its N brand will gain a foothold in the States, so consider the Veloster N to be something of a litmus test.


Surprises are rare at auto shows, but Hyundai pulled one over on the industry when it unveiled the 2019 Veloster N at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

In addition to unveiling the standard trims of its all-new 2019 Veloster, Hyundai also gave us the N, which will be the first US-market car to fall under Hyundai's new performance brand. Overseas, it has the i30 N, which we don't get in the US. This will be the first of what I hope will be several new performance-oriented Hyundais to land on our shores.

I'm loving this shade of blue, especially with the red elements along the lower part of the body.


Under the hood is a 2.0-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged I4. It puts out up to 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, all of which is routed to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. If you can't heel-toe downshift, worry not, because the transmission will match revs for you. Its sport exhaust will also crackle and burp ("overrun," if you're down with the lingo) during spirited driving and the aforementioned downshifts.

Hyundai gave the Veloster N a few key visual updates to help set it apart from the rest of the lineup. Outside, there are exclusive front and rear bumpers, a new grille with actual functional brake ducts, a larger rear spoiler and a dual-tip exhaust. Inside, N-specific bits include the cloth front seats, the steering wheel, shift knob and instrument cluster. There's also a sequential shift indicator on the dashboard to ensure you don't bang against the rev limiter.

Under that skin, the car is essentially way more rigid to help handle all the forces at play during spirited driving. There's a multi-mode suspension with a track-specific N mode, an available limited-slip differential and a drive mode that you can customize to meet your personal needs. You can upgrade the brakes to massive 13.6-inch front and 12.4-inch rear rotors, to boot.

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2018, and pricing has yet to be announced.