Meet Hyundai's first electric race car: the Veloster N ETCR

Published: 10 September 2019

► New Hyundai Veloster electric racer
► Battery-boosted ETCR race car
► Plus everything on the US-market Veloster

Hyundai chose the 2019 Frankfurt motor show to transform its Veloster into its first fully electric race car. The new Veloster N ETCR will compete in the new electric touring car (ETCR) series kicking off in 2020.

It’s no coincidence many brands are binning benzine for batteries in their race strategies: they believe motorsport remains a great proving ground for roadgoing EVs and the range and power anxieties inherent in electric cars are fully tested on the track.

Developed by Hyundai Motorsport, the new Veloster N ETCR is rear-wheel drive and has been testing since August 2019. The team will campaign two cars and the stand in Frankfurt had a mobile fuel-cell powerpoint letting them charge the car up ostensibly emissions-free. 'It means there are no diesel generators in the background charging up our electric cars at race tracks,' said a spokeswoman. 'We're trying to think holistically about our move to electric.'The new Hyundai Veloster N ETCR

The Veloster is no longer sold in Europe, but read on to find out about the version sold in the US and elsewhere.

We lived with the last Veloster: don't miss our long-term test

The roadgoing Hyundai Veloster unveiled at the Detroit show in 2018

Hyundai’s wonky coupe has returned! This is the latest Hyundai Veloster, revealed at the 2018 Detroit motor show in regular Veloster, Veloster Turbo and hot Veloster N variants for sale in the United States.

Remember the Veloster? It was Hyundai’s oddball coupe that had two doors on one side and one on the other and had a coupe shape. When we drove the Veloster Turbo in 2012, we loved it, calling it a ‘cracking little performance car’. 

Yes alright, we get it – what about this new one?

Well it looks very i30-ish from the front, with a similar front grille shape and headlight arrangement. The rear, meanwhile, can be described as… er, busy; a proper coupe shape, central exhausts and big rear lights that stretch upwards.

Hyundai Veloster 2018

The hotter N version amps all of that design up to 11. Like the i30N, the show car you see here is in a vivid blue with plenty of red detailing and sports design cues like a triangular third brake light, rear spoiler and pumped-up body work.

The door arrangement stays the same across all of the versions – one door on the left and two doors on the right.

Gimme engine specs!

The regular Veloster uses a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine producing 147bhp and 132lb ft of torque, while the Veloster Turbo uses a smaller capacity 1.6-litre turbocharged engine with 201bhp and 195lb ft.

Hyundai Veloster side pan

The top-end Veloster N has the same engine as the i30 N – a 275bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 260lb ft of torque, plus an active exhaust that crackles and bangs in ‘N mode’.

Veloster N also gets a few handy tweaks including unique suspension genometry, a limited-slip diff, rev matching and a vomit-inducing ‘N Grin Control’ drive mode system. Hurk.

Anything else I need to know?

Hyundai’s new Veloster sports an interior much like the i30 hatch and in the US it can be fitted with options like wireless charging, an eight-inch touchscreen, Siri integration for your iPhone and a glut of the usual safety tech.

We've seen it testing in the company's home country of Korea, and in N-form at least, it's fast. Ex-BMW M Division boss Albert Biermann is heading the dynamic development of the car, and promised that it will be even more fun to drive than the already impressive Hyundai i30 N

What's the Hyundai Veloster price and release date?

Hyundai USA hasn’t revealed pricing for the new Veloster yet, but what we do know is that it won’t be coming to the UK – boo!

Check out our Hyundai reviews

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches