For this year’s North America International Auto Show (NAIAS), Hyundai has given the second-generation Veloster the center stage. Having unveiled the full lineup for their sporty hatchback, the Veloster now comes in three guises ranging from the standard all-motor Veloster up till the high-performance N version.
First off, the dimensions of the Veloster have grown as compared to the first generation. Standing 20mm longer and 10mm wider but having the same height, the Veloster translates these proportions to more legroom in the interior – giving 15mm more headroom at the rear to be exact.
The design of the new Veloster is something that Michael Evanoff, Hyundai Motor America’s manager of product planning for small cars, calls, a “City Rally Car.” That said, the cowl and A-pillar on this latest generation has been moved backwards to create a more prominent and less stubby bonnet area.
Some signature quirks of the Veloster remain, particularly the odd door pattern of having one long coupe door for the driver and two doors for the passenger side. Even the center-exit exhaust remains, but supposedly was difficult to package considering the Veloster’s new suspension setup.
Speaking of new suspension, this probably would be the biggest change for the next-gen Veloster. The second-gen Veloster ditches the old torsion beam setup at the back in favor of a rear multi-link arrangement borrowed from the Elantra GT. This, paired with a quicker steering ratio should give the Veloster more response around corners.
The interior of the new Veloster was made to look asymmetric much like that of the exterior. A colored heads-up display finds the focus of the driver while occupants can arrange entertainment via a 7-inch touchscreen in the middle. The turbo model even gets a proprietary boost gauge in the infotainment display.
The first two engine options are something we’ve become familiar with in the first Veloster. A 2.0-liter inline four with 149 PS and 178 Nm of torque serves as the standard mill and can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. The Veloster Turbo gets a 1.6-liter turbo inline-four with 203 PS and 264 Nm of torque that can either be driven with a seven-speed dual clutch or a six-speed manual.
The top dog of the Veloster lineup however will be the Veloster N, a creation of Hyundai’s N performance division. Pushing 278 PS and 350 Nm of torque from a 2.0-liter turbo inline four, the Veloster N will only be available in six-speed manual. Hyundai says the N has a stronger clutch and reinforced gears to hold the power and the transmission will have an automatic rev-match system.
Suspension wise the Veloster will have something called a “Power Sense” suspension system that will probably mitigate torque steer much like in the Civic Type R. Brakes will come with 330mm rotors standard, with an option to upgrade to 345mm rotors available as well.
The exterior gets a signature N Performance Blue paintjob along with a host of new skirts, a rear diffuser, bigger exhausts, and a hatchback wing to set it apart from standard fare. The front fascia gets ducting that will channel air towards the larger brakes for better efficiency too.
Expect the full Hyundai Veloster lineup to go on sale sometime during the 4th quarter of this year.