The 2019 Hyundai Veloster has been introduced at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, and becomes the latest member of the Korean carmaker’s performance-oriented N sub-brand.

We’ll get to the juicy bits in a moment, but let’s start with the regular members of the Veloster range, which includes a standard and Turbo models. The former is powered by a 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine running on the Atkinson-cycle, coupled with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The mill displaces the 1.6 litre NA unit in the previous Veloster, providing 147 hp at 6,200 rpm and 179 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm – a 15 hp and 16 Nm gain.

The Turbo model meanwhile, is fitted with an unchanged 1.6 litre turbocharged four-pot producing 201 hp at 6,000 rpm and 264 Nm from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm – an overboost function brings peak torque to 274 Nm. Transmission options include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters and Shiftronic gear control.

There’s more too, as Turbo cars are fitted with something called Active Sound Design, which Hyundai says “enhances intake and exhaust powertrain sound character inside the cabin for a more visceral driving experience, especially during spirited driving.” The Turbo also gets a quicker-ratio steering rack. revised steering calibration and sport-tuned suspension.

Regardless of engine choice, three selectable drive modes are available, including Normal, Sport and Smart. Furthermore, all models are equipped with Torque Vectoring Control (TVC) that uses wheel-speed sensors along with ESC algorithms to apply precise braking force to the inside front wheel during cornering.

Design-wise, the Veloster retains its quirky two-plus-one asymmetrical body style as before. However, the coupe wears a new face that undergoes a nip and tuck to be sleeker in appearance. Features include a wider, hexagonal-shaped grille, sharper headlights, sculpted bonnet and reshaped bumper.

Progressing down the sides, the new car retains the flared fenders and gently scalloped section from its predecessor. While the shape appears unchanged, efforts have been done to improve rear headroom, as evident by the tweaked roofline and redesigned side window.

The rear end has also been tidied up, with new taillight clusters that come with Y-shaped graphics within them. With the new items, the tailgate appears more “normal” than before, and the rear fog lamps have also been reshaped to be more angular rather than circular. The NA model gets a single exhaust outlet, while Turbo ones get a twin-exhaust setup.

Moving inside, we see an all-new dashboard layout that does away with the prominent V-shaped section for the infotainment and climate controls. Instead, there’s now a free-standing touchscreen display flanked by two smaller air-con vents, while the quick access buttons for the infotainment have been pushed down to beside the push start button.

Below that is the climate control switchgear, followed by the gear lever, drive mode selector, etc. The centre stack has also been tweaked to be more driver-focused, with a higher partition placed on the passenger side – to give the driver more personal space, perhaps? There’s also a new steering wheel and instrument cluster for the driver, the latter with a chequered pattern encased within them.

For the United States market, there will be two variants for the 2.0L model – Veloster and Veloster 2.0 Premium. As for the Turbo, there’s three options to choose from – Turbo R-Spec, Turbo and Turbo Ultimate.

Depending on the chosen variant, the kit list can include 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels, seven- or eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, projector or LED headlights, 4.2-inch colour instrument cluster display, sunroof, heads-up display and powered seats.

On the safety front, the range-topping Turbo Ultimate gets the most items, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), High Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Rear Cross-Traffic Collison Warning (RCCW). All models come with six airbags as standard.

That’s it for the regular Veloster models, so it’s time now for something even more exciting – the Veloster N. It joins the existing i30 N as part of Hyundai’s push to be taken seriously as a high-performance vehicle maker, and comes well equipped to do so.

Here, you’ll find a 2.0 litre Theta T-GDI turbocharged four-pot with 275 hp at 6,000 rpm and 353 Nm of torque from 1,450 to 4,700 rpm. This is the same mill used in an i30 N hatchback equipped with the Performance Package, and features a two-stage induction system plus a compression ratio of 9.5:1.

Purists will be pleased to know the only transmission option is a close-ratio, short-throw six-speed manual transmission with downshift rev-matching capability. There’s also an active exhaust system that makes all the right engine over-run exhaust crackles when cycling up and down the gears.

To tame all that power, the Veloster N gets its own unique suspension geometry dubbed N Power Sense Axle. Its design features a zero-scrub radius for more precise steering, quicker response, and a direct on-centre feel, with increased steering linearity.

Elsewhere, a rear strut brace reinforces the rear multi-link suspension mounting points to increase rigidity, and the multi-mode electronically-controlled suspension comes with a track-focused N mode.

The N Grin Control System offers five drive modes to choose from – Normal, Sport, N, Eco and N Custom – each providing a different characteristic to the numerous systems available. If that isn’t enough, there’s even an electronically-controled N Corner-Carving Limited-slip Differential and the front brake rotors are 13.6 inches at the front – 12.4 inches at the rear.

For sufficient visual distinction from a regular Veloster, the N model gets a specific front fascia with a new grille and bumper that have red accents plus air ducts for enhanced brake cooling. Side skirts are part of the N transformation too, along with a large rear spoiler.

The back sees an integrated diffuser and some pretty sizeable exhaust outlets – one at each corner. The car rides on 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels with 235/35 profile Pirelli P-Zeros, or 18-inch units shod with 225/40 profile Michelin Pilot SuperSport tyres.

Inside the cabin, the Veloster N gets N-design front cloth sport seats with performance-focused bolstering, steering wheel, shift lever, door sills and instrument cluster. There’s also tinges of N performance blue in certain areas, and to further accentuate this car is performance-focused, the cluster “displays a progressive sequential shift indicator, alerting the driver of an impending shift point for maximum acceleration.”

Hyundai says the Veloster N was “born” in its global R&D centre in Namyang, before being “thoroughly honed at its Nurburgring-based testing center in Germany.” Production is slated to begin in September this year, and will be available in the US from the fourth quarter of 2018.

2019 Hyundai Veloster

2019 Hyundai Veloster N