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Detroit show: Hyundai Oz wants Veloster N

Share trading: Hyundai’s new Veloster N shares many of its go-fast bits with the i30 N, including the latter’s 202kW turbo engine.

Hyundai Australia goes into battle to get hot 202kW Veloster N coupe


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16 Jan 2018

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia will ask its parent company to reconsider its left-hand-drive-only policy for its all-new Veloster N sports coupe when it goes into production in South Korea in September this year.

The Australian company will argue that because Australia is getting a right-hand-drive version of the new Veloster anyway, the development costs would be significantly lower than for a stand-alone model.

The Veloster N was revealed along with the rest of the new-generation Veloster range at the Detroit motor show overnight.

Hyundai’s Australian general manager external affairs Bill Thomas told GoAuto that the Veloster N had been developed only in LHD for markets such as South Korea and North America.

He said the Australian unit believed the sales potential of Veloster N in Australia would warrant the investment in a right-hook version, especially as Australia was already in the queue for the standard Veloster.

“However, we are going to have a job to build a business case to convince head office to change the plan,” he said.

Mr Thomas said one argument against Veloster N for Australia was that it potentially could cannibalise sales from the upcoming i30 N that will be sold in Australia in two body styles – five-door hatch and five-door liftback.

But the Australian team believed the market for each vehicle was sufficiently different to press ahead with both, he said.

As a turbo front-wheel-drive coupe, the Veloster N would have limited rivals in the Australia market, with Volkswagen’s new three-door Golf GTI perhaps closest to the format.

The 169kW/350Nm Golf GTI is set to rejoin the five-door Golf GTI on the Australian market soon in manual form at $37,490 plus on-road costs, which gives an indication of what Hyundai could charge for the Veloster N. The six-speed dual-clutch automatic GTI will be available from launch, at $39,990.

While the new standard Veloster will come with a choice of normally aspirated 110kW/179Nm 2.0-litre and 150kW/264Nm turbo-charged 1.6-litre petrol engines, the Veloster N gets the top-shelf 202kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine that will debut in Australia in the i30 N in March-April.

The N engine develops peak power at 6000rpm and peak torque between 1450 and 1470 rpm – a relatively narrow band by modern turbo standards.

Developed alongside the i30 N at Hyundai’s Namyang test centre in Korea and the Nurburgring in Germany, the Veloster N shares most of the high-performance mechanical goodies with its five-door hatch counterpart.

Both will be launched only with a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox, but an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission would be added in about the third quarter of 2019.

The Veloster gets electronically controlled sports suspension with multiple modes, including a track-focussed N mode. The suspension can transfer load to reduce dive and body roll during braking, cornering and acceleration.

Like the i30 N, the Veloster N drives only through the front wheels, but the drivetrain features a limited-slip differential with torque vectoring to aid cornering under throttle.

Drive modes – Normal, Sport, N, Eco and N Custom – control the engine throttle response, engine speed rev-matching, exhaust note, active differential tuning, suspension damping rates, steering feel and yaw-control characteristics.

N Custom allows the driver to customise settings according to taste.

Like many high-end sports cars, the sports exhaust has a dual-mode actuator to open up the system for more noise – including over-run exhaust crackle – during hard driving.

Two wheels are available – 18-inch and 19-inch – shod with 225/40R Michelin Pilot Supersport and 235/35R Pirelli P-Zero tyres respectively.

Styling differences include a unique grille with a gaping black mesh opening and separate inlets for cooling ducts for the 345mm front brake discs.

At the back, the hatch is dominated by a large roof mounted spoiler. Down below, a black diffuser is pierced by two industrial-sized exhaust pipes.

Red trim adorns the front fascia, side skirts and rear bumper to further set the N apart from mere Velosters.

Inside, the N gets sports seats with a cloth finish, along with a sports steering wheel and shift knob.

Like a race car, the Veloster N has a gear shift progressive indicator in the centre instrument cluster for optimally timed gear shifts.

While the trim theme outside is red, blue is the accent theme on instruments.

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