Hyundai Veloster N

Hyundai Veloster N 2018 review - hero front
Hyundai Veloster N 2018 review - hero front

The concept of the 'world car' - once the holy grail of the motor industry - seems to be dying.

Manufacturers no longer seem obsessed by offsetting the huge cost of developing new models by selling them in as many different countries as possible. Either that, or we didn't ask nicely enough, because we're told there are no plans to bring the Hyundai Veloster N to Europe.

As its name suggests the range-topping version of Hyundai's quirky three-door coupe is closely related to the Hyundai i30 N, sharing the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and ambition to disrupt the established order through the combination of accessible performance and attractive pricing. In the US the standard 247bhp version is only a couple of hundred dollars more than the less powerful VW Golf GTI.


The upgraded Performance version, which I drove, adds a power boost to 271bhp, a limited slip differential, bigger brakes and upgraded tyres, yet still slips under the $30,000 barrier.

Does the Veloster N deliver hot hatch thrills?

The Veloster N is amusing and raw, in pretty much equal measure. Like the i30N the Veloster N has been created to prioritise thrills over refinement, feeling markedly more primal than lesser versions. There's more than a hint of old-fashioned turbo lag, a couple of beats of pause as the engine fills its lungs when asked to pull hard at short notice.

Once on boost it pulls convincingly, enthusiasm barely diminishing as the 6750rpm redline gets close, and with a hard-edged exhaust that sounds genuinely good rather than just loud. The switchable 'N' mode adds some pops and bangs on a lifted throttle, while also sharpening up various other dynamic functions.