We’ve already seen how easy it is to learn to drive manual on the Hyundai Veloster N’s stick shift, even if it wasn’t quite what you expected. But if you’d rather not bother, the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N now comes with an auto.
The Veloster N, an office favourite around here (in part because of its solid manual!) is now available with an optional 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission the company is labelling its “N DCT,” after its newly minted performance brand.
Hyundai claims the transmission brings the car’s performance up to 100 km/h from 0 in 5.6 seconds, which is just about dead on, give or take a tenth of a second from the manual transmission’s tested performance by Car And Driver.
Except for the easy mode toggle, the transmission is still hooked up to a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, and yeah the car still comes with just three doors; the only one in the back is curbside.
Hyundai claims this N-tuned transmission has some handy performance tricks up its sleeve, too. I’m just going to quote the release here:
The N DCT comes with video game-like features that enhance driving fun. N Grin Shift (NGS) increases torque by 7 per cent from 36.0 to 38.5kgf-m by allowing turbocharger overboost and maximizes transmission response for 20 seconds – performance that is certain to induce “driver grin”.
Additionally, N Power Shift (NPS) engages when the car accelerates with more than 90 per cent of throttle, thereby mitigating any reduction in torque by using upshifts to deliver maximum power to the wheels. This gives the driver a responsive feeling of dynamic acceleration when shifting.
The N DCT also comes with N Track Sense Shift (NTS) that discerns when road conditions are optimal for dynamic driving and activates automatically, selecting the right gear and shift timing just like a professional race car driver to provide optimal performance.
I like that the manual is still an option, and I really like that it didn’t stop the engineers from giving drivers more control over their shifts than most standard automatics. It sounds like a fun gimmicky feature, but I’d probably use it more than the contemporary “exhaust pops button” on a lot of cars these days.
The only hangup is it appears to be activated through the car’s central touchscreen. I’d rather a Porsche-style steering wheel toggle, but maybe that’s reaching.