Hyundai's high-performance N brand has revealed its second offering during the Detroit motor show this week but so far it looks like the hot Veloster N isn't going to come to Australia.
Revealed alongside the South Korean brand’s base model Veloster variants, the wicked-up three-door extends the sub-brand beyond just the upcoming i30 N hot hatch that is due to arrive in local showrooms in March.
The asymmetrical hatch features a unique drivetrain over its simpler siblings, powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine matched to a six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching capabilities, while bigger brakes, adjustable suspension, sharper steering and larger 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero rubber round out the list of performance parts.
Engine output reaches 205kW of power and 353Nm of torque which are near identical to the i30 N, but the information provided for the US market does not indicate whether it will also be offered with the 184kW tune available in the performance arm's base-level i30.
The exterior is much more aggressive in design compared to the i30 N and features bolder red highlights in the wide-mouthed front bumper, a series of large air outlets at the rear and a high-mounted rear spoiler.
Unfortunately for Australians, interested buyers shouldn't hold their breath, with N's latest hot hatch earmarked exclusively for left-hand drive production at present and to be sold only in South Korea and North America.
Hyundai Australia spokesman Bill Thomas said he’d personally like to see the Veloster N help build the brand in Australia, but getting it here was more complicated than normal owing to the resources required to build a feasible business case for right-hand drive production.
“We’re interested in it, but it’s more unlikely than likely at this stage considering it will only be built for the US and Korean markets,” he told Drive.
“The more N cars we have the better and the more choice we have the better it is for customers, but it’s not down to me and it will be a decision made between Hyundai Australia and the parent company,” he added.
“It’s still up in the air, and there are people within the organisation in Australia that want the car but it’s not that easy with a certain amount of investment required for right-hand drive.”
Complicating matters further is the fact that the UK, a major influence for right-hand drive production, does not offer the Veloster, even in its most basic form.
However, even if the Veloster N doesn’t get the green light for Australia, the i30 N won’t be the sole vehicle to carry the weight of the brand.
Hyundai Australia will add a high-performance version of the upcoming i30 Fastback, a swoopy-roofed version of the company’s popular small car. It is due to be revealed later this year before landing in local showrooms before the end of 2018.
Beyond that, the N division is expected to turn its attention to turning-up the heat on the Kona and Tucson SUVs.
“The hatch is the key to us breaking the mould and building the brand from there,” he said.
“There will be more N models to come.”
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