A Letter to the 2022 Hyundai Veloster N, a Friend I Barely Knew

With production slated to wrap as soon as next month, I’m catching one last breath of a future classic out of sheer grace.

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It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the Hyundai Veloster N probably should have died years ago.

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As delicious as it is, the Veloster is not a car that sells. It’s a strange, asymmetrical machine, and admittedly not particularly beautiful. With one door on the left and two on the right, it seemed from the start that nerds with squeaky hentai stickers on their cars would be gathering to foam around 30 years later.

Its longevity was therefore surprising, the model only seeming to be retained to keep one foot in the door of enthusiastic speeches. Finally, as a rumored twilight looms over the hot hatch, I’ve successfully suspended liquidation of the retiring Hyundai fleet car for what is likely its final move.

I’m glad it worked too, because it looks like I saved the best N for last.

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A great car but a niche sale, it’s a wonder the little funky speed roadster made as far as he did. The first death knell sounded in 2020, when Hyundai Canada announced that only the N version would carry the Veloster name. Although only two years into its then-second generation, the revised Veloster N’s ​​novel configuration and multi-link quality never matched the original’s sales successes.

Supporting any model is an expensive proposition, so the decision to only maintain the most niche variant of a failed line came across as more of a Korea brand identity directive than an actual commitment. towards the model. By scrapping the more affordable non-N variants, Hyundai signaled a drop in profitability for the range and an apparent eye towards a next chapter.

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Still, with big investments in the N sub-brand to come, hanging out a bit longer with the Veloster N has given the manufacturer continued lineage in the market. Now that the Kona N and Elantra N have arrived — to my great success, it should be noted – similar feature pulls dealer carpet under unusual tailgate.

According Korean Economic Daily, industry sources suggest that Hyundai could phase out the Veloster N as soon as July. Hyundai hasn’t confirmed this at press time, but with slowing sales and the model’s narrow N-niche appeal, it comes as no surprise. Now that Hyundai is selling the Elantra N and Kona N – two stellar vehicles offering more practicality, affordability and conventionality – the Veloster N has lost its strategic importance.

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  1. Track Test: 2022 Hyundai Kona N

    Track Test: 2022 Hyundai Kona N

  2. Hyundai Unveils All-New 2022 Elantra N Performance Sedan

    Hyundai Unveils All-New 2022 Elantra N Performance Sedan

When I contacted Hyundai, this tester was sitting in the park awaiting retirement, with no replacement in sight. A favor later, a little extra time was reserved for us to get to know each other.

Its new-drive magic blended into the show car magic, with seat bolsters developing worn creases and its soft matte paintwork marred by a few minor nicks and scratches. Passionate press cars live tough lives, and my peers clearly enjoyed this one.

Although “only” the wet two-pedal DCT, the 2022 Veloster N was quite the dizzying thrill of its still manually configurable Kona and Elantra descendants. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four (don’t worry, it’s not the famous ring piston) pumps out its 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque with boyish exuberance, crackling to my neighbors’ presumed displeasure .

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Sport mode does everything you’d expect, increasing chassis stiffness, steering response and throttle crispness, while bringing a commensurate increase in exhaust volume. There is still ‘N’ mode for track playback, or a custom mode for your choice of severity in each setting.

Whatever your setup, the Veloster N’s ​​short wheelbase, 19-inch wheels and electronic limited-slip differential keep the experience at the peak end of the spectrum. Comfort mode makes driving a little easier, but if the driver’s door only on the left side didn’t already warn you, the Veloster prioritizes the driver over its passengers. Climbing into the rear seats from the third door from the right, I box sit behind me – but not in a way that I would look forward to.

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The Veloster has other drawbacks as well. Rear visibility is limited as you would imagine, as is the left rear passenger’s view outside. The infotainment and four-year-old driver aids aren’t quite up to Hyundai’s 2022 standard either, with lane assist but no adaptive cruise. That nifty three-door setup also costs something in practice, though it’s a fun conversation piece and a quirk some are sure to miss.

There’s a lot more to the Veloster N, and you can see and hear it in the video review. And to each of these disadvantages, the new Kona N. and Elantra N offer practical answers from packages admittedly more suited to daily life in the city and suburbs – and with more modern functional content to boot.

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But what seems most important now is to tell what under-sung fun this car is (or was). Although a media darling, avid buyers slept on the second-generation Veloster N in favor of more accessible or conventional alternatives. It’s a shame too, because we missed a lot of things.

Hyundai Veloster N 2022
Hyundai Veloster N 2022 Photo by Elle Alder

The Veloster N is more than just a wheelbase – it’s a full package of fun tricks for their own good. The “N Grin Shift” button on DCT models increases power for ten seconds, rewarding thoughtful deployment with a 10% increase in power output. That eLSD keeps the N chattering productively out of corners, and brake-vectored traction keeps it on track no matter how keen the operator is.

The Kona N’s wheelbase is five centimeters shorter, but the lower, tighter Veloster N still feels more nimble. Whether zipping around town or plunging along escarpment back roads, it can be propelled with the erraticism of a toddler playing UFO. Save $2,000 to keep the standard 6MT, and playtime promises even more smiles.

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Even the dual-clutch automatic transmission is fun, responding smoother than Hyundai’s dry DCTs – and with generous pops and thumps through shifts and throttle overruns. Manual is always the obvious way to go, but if you have your own reasons for the double pedal, that’s always fine too.

Hyundai Veloster N 2022
Hyundai Veloster N 2022 Photo by Elle Alder

Without the long line of classic standards of many Japanese import brands, the Veloster was an easy car to dismiss. But while “JDM” (Canadian market) kids may turn their noses up at “KDM” (Canadian market), more than just feeling nomenclatural embarrassment, they’re bypassing each other. The Veloster N is a joy of a vehicle, and one that looks set to become a future classic.

By logically concluding that the rumors are true, you’re probably too late to order your own Veloster. If you can find one on a lot of dealers, though, now might be the time to grab whatever you can find.

We will miss you, lumpen one.


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