New-gen hatch due Down Under Q4 2018
The 2018 Hyundai Veloster has been revealed this week at the 2018 Detroit motor show, headlined by the Veloster N hot hatch.
UPDATE, 20/8/18: Hyundai Australia has confirmed the Veloster will touch down locally in the fourth quarter of 2018, not the third quarter as initially reported.
Four variants of the small coupe-come-hatchback have been revealed, the standard Veloster, the Veloster Turbo, the Veloster R-Spec and the Veloster N – all occupying a different spot on the potency scale.
The headlining act during the Veloster's reveal is the long-awaited Veloster N – the second model to be produced by Hyundai's N division and the first N-badged model to be available to the US market.
Finished in the same eye-catching Performance Blue as its i30 N sibling, the Veloster N gets a range of racy exterior and interior treatments, along with "up to" 275 horsepower (205kW) from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine – hinting that multiple tunes are on the horizon, just like the i30 N.
There's also a meaty 353Nm of torque available from just 1450rpm through to 4700rpm, while peak power kicks in at 6000rpm.
Drive is sent exclusively to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, which also features a rev-matching function.
The Veloster N also features a multi-mode exhaust system with variable exhaust actuator, which in 'N' mode puts out an "exhilarating" over-run crackle on "spirited" upshifts and rev-matched downshifts.
Externally, the Veloster N is distinguished by its N-design front fascia and enlarged intakes, specific alloy wheels (up to 19-inches in diameter), red accents, aggressive body kit, and rear diffuser with outboard dual exhaust outlets – compared to the centrally-mounted units on the Veloster and Veloster Turbo models.
Meanwhile, the interior gets N-design front cloth sports seats, steering wheel, shift knob, specific instrument cluster, and Performance Blue accents.
There's also adaptive suspension, larger brakes, along with Michelin Pilot SuperSport (225/40 R18) or Pirelli P-Zero (235/35 R19) rubber depending on the alloy wheel package chosen.
Like the i30 N, the Veloster N is also available with an electronic limited-slip differential to improve launch performance and cornering.
Production of the Veloster N will kick off in Ulsan, South Korea in September 2018, with US deliveries to commence in the fourth quarter.
At this stage, it's unclear if and when the Veloster N makes it to Australian showrooms, but let's hope that changes.
Veloster and Veloster Turbo
Sure the Veloster N may have stolen the show, but the all-new Veloster and Veloster Turbo are still important considering it's the first major overhaul of the small coupe-hatch since the original first launched in 2011.
Up front is an iteration of the company's 'cascading' grille, available LED headlights with LED daytime-running lights, along with functional air curtains on each side of the lower front bumper, adding both a visual design cue and active aerodynamic function.
It's a lot more angular than the curvy proportions of the outgoing car, in addition to more pumped guards, lower roofline and swept-back A-pillar which give the Veloster a more muscular appearance.
There's also available LED tail-lights, wheels up to 18 inches in diameter, and a centrally-mounted exhaust system – a single outlet for the base 2.0-litre model and dual outlets for the Turbo. Buyers can opt for a contrasting roof as well.
Inside, the Veloster continues the asymmetrical design cues thanks to its driver-focused dashboard layout. In Turbo Ultimate trim, the interior features contrasting colour trims to visually separate the driver's environment too.
Each variant gets unique colours, materials and accents to further differentiate model grades.
Powering the standard car is the 'Nu' 2.0-litre four, which uses a hybrid-style Atkinson cycle for improved efficiency and emissions.
The base engine delivers 147hp (110kW) of power and 179Nm of torque, with drive sent to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Meanwhile Turbo models are powered by a 'Gamma' 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol shared with the i30 SR, developing 201hp (150kW) of power and 265Nm of torque.
Available transmissions include a standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed dual-clutch unit, the latter featuring steering-mounted paddle shifters.
The Veloster Turbo also features 'Active Sound Design', which is Hyundai's name for sound enhancing for the cabin – amplifying the intake and exhaust sounds.
Both the Veloster and Veloster Turbo feature torque vectoring control, utilising the stability and powertrain control systems to brake the inside wheel during cornering while sending power to the outside wheel, reducing wheel spin and enhancing grip.
The Veloster Turbo also gets a more sophisticated suspension set-up, featuring McPherson struts up front and an independent multi-link rear design.
Another key highlight of the Veloster's generational overhaul is the inclusion of Hyundai's latest driver-assistance systems.
Standard across the range is autonomous emergency braking (AEB), while available features include lane-keep assist, high-beam assist (with LED headlights), and driver attention warning.
There's also blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert available, along with adaptive cruise control.
All models feature a rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines, in addition to all your regular electronic safety aids like stability control, ABS and EBD, along with six airbags.
Other new technologies include Hyundai's latest generation infotainment and connectivity solutions,.
US models will come standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM radio, HD radio, and Blue Link LTE connectivity.
The larger 8.0-inch unit adds satellite navigation with traffic updates, and an Infinity premium eight-speaker audio system.
Other available features include a head-up display and wireless phone charging.
A racier R-Spec variant (above) has also been revealed, based on the Turbo, though full details of this model are yet to be released.
Going by the supplied images, the R-Spec gets light alloy wheels, more aggressive exterior trimmings and unique interior appointments for those who don't quite want to step up to a Veloster N.
The Hyundai Veloster and Veloster Turbo will go on sale in the US during the second quarter of 2018.
The core Veloster range has been confirmed for a fourth quarter launch in Australia (UPDATE).
Meanwhile, the hi-po Veloster N remains under a cloud for the time being, with the local arm informing us that it may be a left-hand-drive-only proposition at this stage.
"We are looking at it, [but it’s] not confirmed. It’s more unlikely than likely," said Bill Thomas, Hyundai Australia's general manager for communications.
However, for those who want something different for the i30 N hatch due in the coming months, the local arm has confirmed the i30 N Fastback – which hasn't even been revealed yet – should arrive before the end of the year.
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