By Asian Journal Auto Editor
The Hyundai Veloster has always been a left field sort of hatchback with its novel, sleek hatchback styling and three door configuration. The zig zag fender lines, and wide shoulders have given it a unique look, but it has never been really potent in the performance department. Gladly that’s all changed now, as the Veloster gets Hyundai’s “N” Line performance treatment. The N Line is a special performance upgrade applied across Hyundai’s vehicle lineup, starting with the 2019 Elantra GT. Thinks Audi S – Line, BMW M Series, and Mercedes AMG. Get the picture? Cars with N-Line designation will receive: chassis and suspension tuning, brake upgrades, unique wheels, and body mods, as well as special interior touches. For the curious, the “N – Line” stands for the Veloster’s development centre in Namyang, Korea, and the famous Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany, where the cars are developed, tuned and tested.
Key features on the Veloster N-Line include, an uprated the turbo 2.0-litre four cylinder engine, with 275 hp and 260 lb-ft torque, teamed with a six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching ability. There is an as standard, an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD), with continuously variable four-valve adjustable suspension. Meanwhile steering, throttle response, and ESC are programmable. The stability control and the automatic rev-matching downshifts can be fully disabled. There are five drive modes and larger front and rear brakes. The 19-inch lightweight wheels red painted brake calipers. A large rear wing and multitude of vents and trim pieces add to the go-faster look, while tastefully executed LED low-beam headlights and taillights complement finish off the look.
Inside the Veloster N’s unique features include: blue seatbelts, blue stitching on the clothe seats and blue accent features to distinguish the cabin. The dash offers an eight-inch touchscreen for infotainment, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity The meaty steering wheel and shift knob fall ergonomically to a natural driver position and the sports seats have good side bolsters for hard cornering. There is a new gear shifter design, and N- specific sequential shift lights as standard touches. The Veloster N arrives with such standard features as: automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel and heated seats, an eight-speaker sound system and LED headlights. The front cabin is roomy enough, the rear less so, but not totally cramped. The interior is a sea of severe black plastic and need some livening up. A few bits of color and accent pieces are sorely need here as it is so drab. Love the blue seatbelts though!
On the road the Veloster N- Line is a real bundle of fun. Its standard transmission equipped anyway, so it is to be expected. On starting up and driving off, the exhaust gives off some rally style pops and burps. Acceleration is brisk and it is a joy to row through the close ratio six- speed gearbox. The well-modulated clutch has a decent enough biting pint and is an easy, forgiving unit. The 285 horsepower four cylinder engine pulls very quickly and works well in conjunction with the smooth shifting gear box with its slick, well -timed action. On the corners, the Veloster feels very well planted, and you can really go hard in on full apex. You can of course customize the drive parameters with the five different drive modes. Default Normal mode offers a more comfortable, well controlled drive over normal roads. Sport mode livens things up and the exhaust note also became a tad excitable, the steering heavier, the suspension tightens up for even more precise cornering, N mode, operated by the powder blue button on the steering wheel offers the most performance at the expense of comfort, as the ride become much harder. N Custom meanwhile allows drivers to play with the engine, transmission and chassis settings to your hearts content. On the whole, once you get used to the cars potential you can have endlessly satisfying driving experiences. Not a lot to complain about, A few tech options are not available, the interior needs a mainly cosmetic upgrade to match the exterior. Fuel economy is so- so, the N is officially rated at 10.6 L/100 kilometres city and 8.3 highway.
Like all Hyundai’s, the value in the Veloster N Line is incredible for a dollar under $35,000. The performance is very high for what you get and is temptingly cheaper than its rivals. The Veloster N Line will be limited edition car, but if you manage to get your hands on one, it is the real deal for performance fans.
2019 Hyundai Veloster N Line priced from $34,999. More info at www.hyundai.ca