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Detroit LIVE: 2019 Hyundai Veloster

by Byron Hurd

Hyundai\'s funky hatch gets a redesign and an N model.

Hyundai took advantage of the Detroit Auto Show to unveil replacement models for its Veloster and Veloster Turbo lineup of sport compacts. As a bonus, a new "N" performance model joins the mix.

Hyundai has experimented with performance models in the past, relying on the R-Spec nomenclature to denote track-prepped suspensions and other accessories. Currently, the brand is in the process of developing a new "N" lineup to denote the absolute top-spec models. Veloster is the first American-market car to wear the badge.

While the outgoing Veloster had its merits, we never thought Hyundai quite nailed the formula despite tweaking and tuning along the way. This car is new from the ground up, giving Hyundai the opportunity to address all of the compact hatch's shortcomings once and for all.

VelosterFor starters, the Veloster rides on a new platform and boasts a new exterior design. To Hyundai's credit (in our opinion, anyway), the funky asymmetrical door arrangement and hatchback form factor remain.

The styling, which very similar to the outgoing car's, has been completely overhauled. The front end is significantly more sculpted, with prominent hood sculpting taking away from the former design's more aggressive fender treatment. The front fender also incorporates air curtains for improved aero and stability.

Uderneath, base models are powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0L engine making 147 horsepower. They also make do with a carry-over twist-beam rear suspension.

Veloster TurboThe Turbo model is powered by (you guessed it) a turbocharged, 1.6-liter engine that preserves the old Turbo's 201-horsepower output rating. Turbo models get the multi-link independent rear suspension that debuted in the Hyundai Elantra Sport last year.

Turbo models get sportier interior and exterior styling, including unique wheels and "turbo" badges and interior embroidering.

For both models, manual and dual-clutch transmissions will be available yet again.

NThe N model is the big dog. This is where you step up to a Focus-ST-beating 275 horsepower and 260lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged 2.0L engine.

The suspension is high-spec too, with an electronic multi-mode setup along with extra bracing for its mounts. Wider, lightweight wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero summer tires finish off the corners.

N models also get aggressively bolstered front seats, further interior trim differentiation, and, of course, a higher price tag.

What's next?There's a lot going on here, so expect additional info on each trim to be made available as the new lineup is rolled out this year. Stay tuned.

Live photos by Brian Williams.

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