Car names rarely say much. Veloster, for example, is a portmanteau of the words “velocity” and “roadster.” There is velocity in the $28,000 Veloster N, to a point. The Hyundai is a performance-bent hatchback, like the Volkswagen GTI or Ford Focus ST, but you won’t buy one to go hunting Corvettes. Similarly, there is zero roadster in the thing, at least by the traditional definition.
The Hyundai name, however, means something.
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I remember your fine piece when R&T named the Veloster N the PCOTY. It was on the bittersweet side, given changing automotive times, but it surpassed anything I've read in framing the deep truth that "performance" metrics are finally intangible. I love reading about McLarens and Porsches, but I am not rich nor care to be. Enough is as good as a feast. I dearly love my 2014 Ford Focus ST, and never get tired of driving it. I've scoped out the Veloster N, and it promises to be the only car I would consider as a replacement for my ST, but as St. Augustine put it, "Not yet, Lord, not yet."
Sam, I love your articles. They are informative and a heck of a laugh. Your writing skills are much to admire. Now, the only issue for me would be the manual transmission in the N. If it's as sloppy as you say then I'll take a Honda Civic Si over the Hyuandai any day.
The Veloster N has succeeded the Fiesta ST, Cobalt SS Turbo, and SRT-4 as the king of the American sport compacts. No, the Veloster N is not made by a company with headquarters in Detroit, nor is it made in America like a Sonata is. What the Veloster N is is a car that's built not as nicely as the Honda or VW equivalents, but makes up for that by costing less, and delivering more fun like those aforementioned cars did. I might say that the Veloster N is William of Orange to Jim Hackett's James II.