I bathed this baby last night for this moment. I felt butterflies in my stomach, forgetting how little I’ve slept. Today is the day I take a spin on a circuit with my new pal.
Before I hit the road, I took a closer look at my new friend, Veloster N. Its shiny, glowing Performance Blue shade highlighted with striking red lines perfectly suited the color of the morning sky today. I don’t think I will ever get tired of this color.
The car I previously owned was an ordinary four-door sedan with a manual transmission. This one, on the other hand, is a stylish three-door hatchback that makes me feel like I own the sexiest coupe in the whole wide world. And yet, the second door made the car pragmatic enough, allowing access to the back seats.
I put my foot on the brake when I started the engine. A low, growling sound bounced off the wall of the parking lot. Oh, I forgot to mention the clutch pedal, didn’t I? This car is equipped with an all-new N 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission (N DCT). My poor left foot suffered enough from pushing down on the clutch pedal when I was with my old car, but not anymore.
I sneaked out of the still-quiet downtown, not waking everybody up at this ungodly hour. Veloster N reveals its true self when it’s on the highway. ‘The new paddle shifters behind the steering wheel put power at your fingertips’ — yes, so I could enjoy creating an afterburn(a pops and crackles), a burbling sound every time the engine slows down. I was mesmerized by how fast the new 8-speed DCT gearbox responses.
I used to go through all the maneuvers – when pressing and releasing the accelerator and the clutch pedal for controlling the torque balance. It really was fun for me to play with the manual gearbox, but I have to admit that it has been annoying to have a stick especially when I was stuck in a traffic jam. Enough chitchat. It’s time to see how the 8-speed DCT works on a circuit.
I have checked everything – air pressure in all tires, brake fluid, engine oil – before I drive into the circuit. I took a deep breath and exhaled just so I could calm down a little.
The first lap was to warm up the tires, just as we get ourselves warmed up before a workout. Then I switched the driving mode to the ‘N mode’ to see how it goes.
It was remarkably smart, and they were right. ‘The N Track Sense Shift (NTS) discerned when road conditions are optimal for dynamic driving and activated automatically, selecting the right gear and shift timing just like a professional race car driver to provide optimal performance.’ It was just like what they described in the brochure.
The N DCT indeed came with video game-like features that enhance driving fun. It “increased torque by 7%, from 36.0 to 38.5 kilogram-force meters, by allowing turbocharger overboost and maximizes transmission response for 20 seconds — a performance that is certain to induce driver grin.”
Driving a Veloster N at a circuit was something special. Precise shifting at high RPM was remarkable. ‘N Power Shift (NPS) engages when the car accelerates, 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,’ so they say.
The N Corner Carving Differential, or E-LSD(electronic-Limited Slip Differential) system, allowed driven wheels to turn at different speeds by applying different amounts of torque depending on the load transfer from the inner to the outer front axle wheel.
So Hyundai indeed developed the N DCT to provide the engaging experience of a manual transmission with the convenience of an automatic transmission. Though the DCT made the car a bit heavier, Veloster N demonstrated the automaker’s approach to high-performance cars. By equipping Veloster N with N DCT, drivers will get performance and convenience at the same time. Anyone who wants a fun driving experience should jump at the chance to pilot the new Veloster N – an everyday sports car with racetrack capabilities.
Words. Se-Hwan Lee