It’s not just the Genesis brand and the Telluride that are fueling Hyundai’s rise. The Korean automaker’s hot hatch, the Veloster N, can compete with segment leaders like the Volkswagen GTI. But to keep up with models like the Honda Civic Type R, it still needs a bit more performance. Luckily, for 2021, Hyundai is giving the Veloster N exactly that.
The 2021 Hyundai Veloster N’s updates
Part of the Hyundai Veloster N’s 2021 updates includes an optional automatic transmission, which we’ve previously reported on. But it’s not a traditional torque-converter auto, Autoblog reports. It’s actually Hyundai’s first-ever 8-speed dual-clutch—the Veloster Turbo only has a 7-speed DCT.
The new DCT comes bundled with launch control, shift paddles, and an over-boost feature which briefly adds extra torque, Roadshow reports. And Motor Trend reports it’s good for a 0.3-second improvement to 0-60 time all on its own. The 2021 Veloster N’s standard transmission, though, remains a 6-speed manual.
But the new transmission isn’t the only performance upgrade Hyundai is giving the 2021 Veloster N. Previously, the hot hatch offered an optional Performance Package. This boosted the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from 250 to 275 hp and added a limited-slip differential, larger brakes, and larger wheels with high-performance Pirelli tires. For the 2021 Veloster N, the Performance Package comes standard, Road & Track reports.
In addition, the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N has a few more interior and tech features. The hot hatch gets new front sport seats, with better bolstering and illuminated N logos. They also weigh 4.4 pounds less. It also now has an 8” infotainment touchscreen, as well as lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
Will these updates really make it faster?
In terms of weight-savings, the new seats don’t make a significant difference. And as we’ve previously discussed, launch-control-boosted 0-60 times aren’t necessarily good real-world performance indices.
That being said, DCTs shift faster and more smoothly than people can. So even without launch control, it’s likely a manual-equipped Veloster N would fall behind one with the automatic. DCTs are also easier to live with in heavy traffic and don’t require an extensive learning period. Plus, for those who want to track their Veloster Ns, a DCT eliminates the need to think about shifting. Which means you can just concentrate on braking and your racing line. And if you don’t care about speed, and just want to enjoy the drive, the manual’s still available.
The new standard features, though, are arguably the biggest performance boost. R&T describes the previously-optional Performance Package as a “must-have.” And while Motor1 reports the standard Veloster N has a “competent chassis,” the Pirelli tires and LSD definitely improve the hot hatch’s handling. That’s a sentiment with which Autoblog concurs.
The 2021 Hyundai Veloster N’s competition
As of this writing, the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N’s pricing is unknown. With the Performance Package, the 2020 model starts at $29,700. It’s likely, then, that the 2021 model will start at roughly $30,000.
That’s about $7000 less than the 2020 Honda Civic Type R, which has 306 hp and more standard ADAS features. It also has better steering, Motor1 reports, and according to The Drive, a better ride. However, while enthusiasts appreciate its manual-only nature, it limits the CTR’s customer base compared to the Veloster N.
There’s also the upcoming Volkswagen GTI, due in 2022, R&T reports. It’s down on horsepower compared to the Hyundai Veloster N, but its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes more torque. The Mk8 GTI also comes with updated suspension, new electronics, and adaptive dampers, Car and Driver reports. It’s also reportedly faster around VW’s test track than the outgoing Mk7. And the Mk8 GTI will likely cost roughly the same as the Veloster N.
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