Hyundai Veloster N

N for No: why the Hyundai Veloster N isn’t coming to the UK

Hyundai Veloster N

The Hyundai Veloster N is proof that we can’t have nice things. Because while the good folk at the Detroit Auto Show are salivating over this 275hp coupe, we’ve been denied custody of the i30 N’s slightly more rebellious sibling, without so much as a promise of weekend access.

Why? Because we’re too busy littering the streets with crossovers, while three-door cars are falling out of favour. Sure, the Veloster is technically a four-door coupe – with two doors on one side and one on the other – but the point remains.

Other reasons? Well, the Hyundai Veloster was a monumental flop in the UK. At the last count, fewer than 2,700 of these hatchback-cum-coupes are on the streets of Britain. Hyundai pulled the plug in 2015, after just three years of slower than expected sales.

Video: Hyundai Veloster N in Forza Motorsport 7

Looking back, it’s not hard to see why the Veloster failed so miserably here. Five years ago, Hyundai showrooms were desolate wastelands, devoid of cheeriness and inspiration. The Veloster would have stood out like Keira Knightley at a convention of John Major lookalikes.

The Veloster was caught between a rock and a hard place. To the loyal Hyundai owner – for whom excitement centred on a nine-letter word on Countdown and finding a tin of travel sweets in the glovebox – it was too exciting. To non-Hyundai people, it just wasn’t compelling enough.

Mk1 Hyundai Veloster

Sure, it looked cool, in a Korean Scirocco kind of way, but it didn’t have the dynamic ability to live up to its track-ready styling. Hyundai tried desperately hard to add some flair, but vibrant hues such as solid Sunflower yellow, pearlescent Vitamin C and Green Apple were wasted in the land of Werther’s Originals.

The performance was merely adequate – even in the more interesting Veloster Turbo – with a 0-62mph time quoted at 8.4 seconds. The fact is, the Veloster looked faster than it actually went, which satisfied neither the Hyundai loyalists nor the sceptics.

Maybe it was the right car at the wrong time. Today, the Hyundai range feels like so much more than a line-up of white goods supported by a five-year warranty. Almost every model offers a modicum of flair and panache, while the i30 N hints at an enthralling future for the N sub-brand.

No, you’re never gonna get it. Not this time

Which makes the decision not to introduce the Veloster N in Britain all the more galling. Hyundai will point to the similarities between the i30 N and the Veloster as the reason behind the move, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Just imagine seeing one of these drenched in Performance Blue paint on your morning commute. 

Hyundai Veloster N not for UK

If Hyundai is serious about its N sub-brand, wouldn’t a stablemate for the i30 N make a great deal of sense? Granted, Hyundai Europe would have analysed the business case before scribbling an ‘N’ for ‘No’, but the desire to see the Veloster N in the UK is driven by an emotional rather than a rational perspective.

It looks even more hardcore than its five-door sibling, especially at the back. And with 275hp on tap, the Veloster can finally live up to its velocity-inspired name. Sadly, we won’t be offered the chance to play.

Unless that is, you happen to own a copy of Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One and Windows 10. The Veloster N and Turbo car pack has arrived as part of the January update, and our man Bradley has been having a go. Even better than the real thing, Bradley?

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