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Britain snubbed the original Hyundai Veloster – do we even deserve the second-gen model?

Written by: Neil

Hyundai has just revealed a high-performance version of its quirky new Veloster coupe-hatchback.

The original Veloster, which launched here in 2011, didn’t receive a warm reception, selling around 2,200 units in just four years before it was dragged off sale across the whole of Europe.

It seems to have done well enough in the rest of the world though, because Hyundai has worked together a second-generation Veloster, which has just been unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, alongside a more powerful hot hatch variant – the Veloster N.

The wacky asymmetrical door format (one on one side, two on the other) remains in place, so if you didn’t like the look of the Veloster before, you’re not going to be keen on this either.

In its standard form, the Veloster is offered with modest petrol engines, pumping out less than 200bhp, but the rowdier Veloster N uses a turbocharged two-litre unit to create 271bhp and realise the car’s performance potential.

Changes under the surface mean the car has more precise steering, quicker responses, larger brakes and a direct on-centre feel, resulting in greater steering linearity.

As with any performance variant worth its salt, there’s a variety of driving modes, made available through the N Grin Control System.

Aside from the boring ‘Normal’ mode, the car can be switched to ‘Sport’, ‘N’, ‘Eco’ or ‘N Custom’ mode, which toggle engine throttle response, engine speed rev-matching, exhaust note, active differential tuning, suspension damping rates and steering feel.

One of the senior bods at Hyundai hopes the Veloster N will elevate the brand to “a new level of purchase consideration for true driving enthusiasts in the US market”.

Note the North American focus there, that’s because neither the UK, nor Europe, will be getting it. Talk about taking your ball home!

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “The regular Veloster will launch in the US from April, with the N variant following in the fourth quarter of 2018. Will it ever find its way into UK showrooms? We’ll have to wait and see.”

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