The sport seats have additional bolstering added to ensure that the driver stays in position but still manages to stay comfortable. Like its siblings the instrumentation is easily read and, more importantly with the ‘N’, within easy reach.
The floating seven-inch touch screen becomes more important especially when driving in N-Mode this now shows the cars set up on the screen that also includes a g-force reading and lap timer.
An ‘N’ designed steering wheel, shift knob and instrument cluster help differentiate it from its siblings on the inside.
What’s under the sheet metal is really what makes this car special.
A specifically tuned 2.0-litre turbocharged engine matched to a short shift, six-speed, manual gearbox produces 275 hp and 260 lb/ft of torque.
Having this combination in a car that weighs in at just over 1,350 kg turns it from a hot hatch into a rocket.
Holding it flat on the ground is a multi-mode, electronically controlled suspension system that uses a load transfer control system to reduce nose dive during heavy breaking and helps eliminate body roll during cornering and rear suspension compression when accelerating hard.
The ‘N’ also benefits from torque-vectoring that increases its handling through corners.
The ‘N’ comes with five selectable driving modes; Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom. The later two set this car aside form the regular Veloster.
When driving in Eco and Normal the Veloster is fairly demure in its handling and sound. In fact, I would say that it could pass for the regular Veloster, it is pleasant and comfortable and perfect for the unassuming drive around town. Sport mode ups the ante a little adding a bit of exhaust noise and a bit rougher ride but still acceptable for a regular driving experience.
The big changes happen when you hit the big blue ‘N’ button on the steering wheel, this is when this Veloster changes into a monster.
Switching into ‘N” driving mode makes the Veloster N a different car all together by hitting the button it changes the engine throttle response, rev-matching (when going down through the gears), exhaust note, active differential tuning, suspension damping rates and overall steering feel.
The first noticeable sign in the difference is the exhaust note, the car becomes almost angry, and the resonance sound coming from the twin exhaust lets you know that you are driving a different car. Acceleration is blistering with the gearbox handling the power with ease with the gear changes being short and precise.
The suspension hunkers down making every bump and hole in the road resonate through the cabin giving you real road feel. Going around corners feels like you are on rails.
Breaking, as you would expect, is just as dramatic as the acceleration. To be honest if I was a lot younger I would drive the ‘N’ like this all the time, the exhaust and engine note certainly turns heads, but now that I am a bit older and, ahem, a bit more portly the vibrations tended to make parts of me vibrate more than I was comfortable for any length of time.
You certainly get the feeling that you are in the cabin of a rally car. For oldies like me that still like the performance but feel like I know how to drive the car better than it does there is ‘N’ Custom mode where you can fine tune the settings to enhance the performance even more making it unique to the driver.
The Veloster N certainly holds it own against the other Hot Hatches in the marketplace, but at a far more affordable price.
It certainly draws attention to itself with its cool colour, aggressive lines and gnarly exhaust note.
The ‘N’ certainly gives you a high energy, exciting drive but can easily be calmed down for a more comfortable drive in and around town when needed.