Hyundai has had a busy start of the year 2018. After unveiling a hydrogen-powered crossover SUV dubbed “Nexo”, at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the automaker next stop was Detroit to introduce the second generation of the Veloster, a hot hatch famous for its asymmetrical body that features two doors on one side and a single door on the other. On the surface, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster has not changed much; it still looks like the first generation coupe. However, beneath the model’s surface much has changed. For the 2019 model year, the Veloster coupe gets a turbocharged option as well as a high-performance version dubbed 2019 Hyundai Veloster N.
2019 Hyundai Veloster Exterior
The 2nd-gen Veloster is slightly larger than the 1st-gen model. The new model is 0.8 inches longer, 0.4 inches wider but its height has not changed. The exterior look is new. To start with, the A-pillar has been shifted backward to give the car a longer hood. The front hexagonal grille also looks larger and is flanked by intakes that makeup air curtains that help reduce aerodynamic drag on the front wheels. LED headlights and 18-inch wheels are optional on the base model but standard on the Turbo and N models.
The liftgate handle at the rear has been shifted higher close to the wiper which makes them easier to grab when opening and closing the tailgate. Designers chose to retain the Veloster’s center-exit exhaust which the automaker revealed was difficult to pull off due to the revised suspension layout. On the sides, the unique 3-door styling continues with a coupe-like door on the driver’s side while the passenger side has two doors similar to those of a 4-door hatchback.
The Veloster has a lower roofline which enhances its coupe-like stance; to add to this striking look, buyers can opt for a dark roof finish.
Much has improved in the cabin; the new hatchback comes with a color head-up display as well as a dashboard-mounted 7.0-inch touch-screen display as standard (an 8.0-inch unit is optional). In Turbo models, the infotainment screen features a “Performance” display that has a boost gauge. The dashboard design is asymmetrical to mimic the exterior design; it is characterized by a large pocket in front of the shifter where designers have placed charging ports as well as a wireless phone charging system. Though the model’s interior is slightly bigger, passengers, particularly at the rear will find the space cramped.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as is an 8-speaker Infinity sound system. The sunroof is also larger which gets more light into the cabin.
The Veloster also features several drivers assist systems such as blind-spot monitoring with cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, automatic braking and drowsy driver alert. It also has six airbags as well as automatic high beams.
Engine and Performance
The standard mill is a 2.0 L, inline-4 Atkinson cycle that produces 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with a 6-speed manual/automatic transmission. This mill’s performance is a little disappointing.
For additional power, buyers can upgrade to a turbocharged 1.6 L, 4-cylinder inline-4 good for 201 hp and 196 lb-ft of torque. This mill powers the Turbo trim probably so named because of the turbocharged engine. The turbocharged mill mates to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard but a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is optional. The dual-clutch transmission features steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters as well as SHIFTRONIC gear control. The Turbo also features Normal, Smart and Sport drive modes through which the driver controls powertrain sound that reaches the cabin.
2019 Hyundai Veloster N
The top performer of the entire lineup is the new 2019 Hyundai Veloster N; it is fitted with a turbocharged 2.0 L, engine that churns out 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. To keep the engine cool and thus help it maintain optimum performance, engineers paired the engine with an intercooler that is isolated from the radiator and condenser. The Veloster N mill is paired with a close-ratio, short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox in standard form. The system also features downshift rev matching. The Veloster N’s clutch disc is a double-layer facing unit which enhances its strength when gears are engaged; the model also has an active sports exhaust with variable exhaust actuator and multi modes which ensure the engine sounds good at all times. Other upgrades include geometry and suspension tuning for enhanced stability and zero-scrub radius for faster responses and specific steering. The suspension of the Veloster N is also electronically-controlled via drive modes that include an N mode for spirited and track driving. Buyers can also add an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential to improve cornering control and reduce acceleration slip understeer. To bring the Veloster N to a halt, the model is fitted with the same braking system as the Turbo model but one can upgrade to bigger performance rotors of 13.6 inches at the front and 12.4 inches at the rear.
Price and release date
Production of the 2019 Hyundai Veloster will start in March of 2018. The base Veloster and Turbo models will be the first to hit dealerships; the Veloster N will come in late 2018. Hyundai is yet to announce the 2019 Veloster prices; I expect this information to be released in the next few weeks so keep it here for more updates.