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The Hyundai Veloster N Is Going to Be More Accessible Than We Thought

The Hyundai Veloster N has been the first model in the U.S. from Hyundai’s high-performance N series. Hyundai recently announced a new transmission for the Veloster N, which will make it accessible to more drivers. Here’s a look at the new option coming soon to this high-performance hatchback.

The Hyundai Veloster N with a dual-clutch automatic transmission

The Hyundai Veloster N will soon have an available eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission option. According to Car and Driver, the new transmission is likely the same one that will be used in the Hyundai Sonata N-Line.

From images, Car and Driver has identified paddle shifters, a shift knob, and a “Grin Shift” mode available in the gauge cluster. Grin Shift mode activates overboost to quickly increase torque in 20-second intervals and maximize performance.

Car and Driver suggests that the new transmission may give the Veloster N improved acceleration over the manual transmission. Hyundai says with the new dual-clutch automatic transmission, the car should be able to go from 0 to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds.

In addition to the new transmission option, the Veloster N will also have an improved infotainment system and lightweight sport seats. The infotainment system will include software upgrades with the same 8-inch touchscreen.

The new seats being added to the Veloster N are heated and 4.4 pounds lighter than the usual seats. They also have an N logo on the backrest that lights up. From images, Car and Driver also believes that the steering wheel will be heated as well.

The Hyundai Veloster N with a manual transmission

So far, the Hyundai Veloster N has only been available with a six-speed manual transmission. In the 2020 Veloster N, the manual transmission is paired with the one engine available. That is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, which generates 250 hp.

With the optional Performance Package, the horsepower increases to 275 hp. In Car and Driver’s tests, the Veloster N with the manual transmission was able to go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

An automatic transmission is more accessible for drivers

While manual transmissions used to be common, that’s not the case today, so not all drivers even know how to drive stick shifts. General Motors developed the first automatic transmission in the U.S. in 1938 and rolled it out for its 1940 vehicles.

As late as 2006, buyers in the U.S. could choose a manual transmission in 47 percent of new models. By 2018, that number had dropped, and only 20 percent of new vehicles in the U.S. were available with a manual transmission. Sales of vehicles with manual transmissions declined even more. In 1985, 22 percent of sales were of manual transmission vehicles. By 2018, only 2 percent of sales were of manual transmission vehicles.

One factor in the declining availability of the manual transmission is that certifying an additional powertrain for emissions and fuel economy costs auto manufacturers more than a million dollars.

Impact on sales

Hyundai likely expects that making the Veloster N available with an automatic transmission will help to boost sales. The Hyundai Veloster, the non-performance hatchback, likely has given the company a good indication of how the transmission options affect sales. The 2020 Veloster is available with a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic transmission, or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The new dual-clutch automatic transmission option for the Hyundai Veloster N is expected for the 2021 model, and it should appear in South Korea soon and in the U.S. later in 2020. Buyers who don’t want to learn to drive a stick shift but are still looking for performance won’t have to wait too long for the Veloster N’s new transmission.