• Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Hyundai's N Performance division broke out of the starting gate with the i30 N in Australia, fitted exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Our first taste of a South Korean blue wonder will be the Veloster N launching later this year, and it also comes with that single gearbox. Hyundai executives told Australian site Car Advice an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is on the way, but that it won't join the party until late 2019. That means we could see it in the Veloster around then or a little later, and it might portend future developments for the go-fast lineup.

The in-house unit will be all-new, not a rework of the seven-speed EcoShift dual-clutch in the Veloster Turbo. It isn't clear whether the seven-speeder can handle the 279 pound-feet of torque in the top-spec N cars when on overboost. According to N Peformance boss Albert Biermann, the new eight-speed, wet-clutch, paddle-shifted gearbox has already been tested in the Kia Sorento diesel, which has 325 lb-ft of torque, and the 380-horsepower RN30 concept car. Ultimately, it will serve vehicles across Hyundai and Kia ranges.

Although late introduction of a dual-clutch has been the plan all along, a Hyundai exec admitted "sales limitations" in offering a manual exclusively. Every prime rival offers dual-clutch transmissions. But Hyundai believed that it needed to appeal to the Euro hot-hatch purists first, and we can't blame it. The long delay between launch and DCT availability does raise questions and possibilities, though.

Every N model unveiled so far sends all power to the front wheels because, according to Biermann, "Without a high amount of power there is no need to go to all-wheel drive." The introduction of the beefier eight-speed DCT that's ready to deal with at least 380 hp and 325 lb-ft could open up the way to even more powerful N versions and all-wheel drive, which has the potential to create real parity with segment rivals. Car Advice also reported that Hyundai Australia will cover track use in the five-year warranty on the i30 N. We'll wait to see if that line-item makes it to the U.S., but after the dual-clutch woes suffered by competitors like the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS, such reassurance could go a long way with buyers. Eventually.

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