Hyundai’s Veloster N now comes with a new transmission option: the N DCT, a double-clutch type transmission, offers the convenience of the automatic and the sensibilities of the manual, providing much fun through its diverse options and features.
“Veloster N―a car made solely for the fun of a drive,” noted Road & Track, a renowned US-based auto media, as it crowned the model as the magazine’s 2020s Performance Car of the Year. Indeed, the Veloster N was built to make driving fun. Its manual transmission offered superb maneuverability that could not be found in automatic vehicles, and the rev-matching function allowed even the drivers with modest experience in using MT to aggressively enjoy the power of the 2.0ℓ turbo engine. The members of the media and the consumers who tested the Veloster N universally praised its power and handling, but common among the praises was the mention of the “feel” that the manual transmission provided.
But for those with only AT licenses, the Veloster N was just a painting on a museum―pleasing to look at, but impossible to own. Even for those with MT licenses, the learning curve for the manual transmission likely felt sharp. The N DCT (Double Clutch Transmission) is Hyundai’s response to these difficulties: to ensure that the N Brand’s flagship hot hatch can see more widespread enjoyment, the N-DCT, faster and more dynamic than the existing MT, is being applied to the Veloster N.
The N DCT on the Veloster N is based on the Smartstream Wet-type 8-speed DCT, which was introduced for the first time in the 2019 HKIPC (Hyundai-Kia International Powertrain Conference). To this original, the N DCT adds some high-performance features worthy of the N Brand’s premium identity.
First, the N DCT uses the wet-type double-clutch structure, as opposed to the dry-type typically used in small cars. The wet-type structure comes with cooling oil that allows the clutch to consistently maintain the desired temperature; thanks to this, the N DCT can easily handle the maximum torque of the Veloster N’s 2.0 turbo engine (36.0 kgf.m) and can even respond to the torque as high as 58.0 kgf.m.
The hydraulic oil pump is the biggest distinguishing point between the wet-type and the dry-type DCTs. The oil pump, which has the important role of circulating the oil necessary for clutch cooling and gear lubrication, is typically built with a mechanical circulation design. But this design keeps the oil pump ceaselessly running even when clutch cooling is not necessary, causing an unnecessary burden to the engine.
The N DCT, on the other hand, comes with the on-demand circulatory system, which works to circulate an appropriate amount of oil only when the clutch needs to be cooled or gear shifting occurs. Needless to say, this on-demand structure quite drastically reduces the unnecessary loss of engine power.
Assuming that the N Power Shift is used while the Launch Control function (which boosts the car to its maximum power immediately upon launch) is active, the Veloster N can record a zero-to-sixty of mere 5.6 seconds, 0.5 seconds faster than its MT model.
The Veloster N with N DCT also brings a feature that even the newbies to the high-performance car segment will love: the N Grin Shift, a brainchild of the brand’s R&D Chief Albert Biermann. The name comes from the expected reaction of drivers once they realize what the feature can do―really, imagine having a “turbo” button on your dash. How could you not grin? Indeed, once the feature is activated and the driver hits the acceleration pedal, the engine is boosted to maximum capacity, and the transmission recalibrates to the mode optimized for acceleration. For the next 20 seconds, the Veloster N will be a high-powered thoroughbred. If the car is running on premium gas, the function can even be over-boosted, albeit under acceptable driving conditions (e.g. highways).
If the driver is pursuing record time on a racing track, or if he or she is simply pursuing the thrill of uninhibited acceleration, the N Grin Shift is the obvious choice. But one might ask: this is a cool feature, but is it useful outside of the circuit? Fitting the ideal of “everyday sports car” that the Veloster N strives to meet, the N Grin Shift can be used in normal road conditions as well―like highway entries and overtaking other cars, whenever sudden acceleration is needed. But because it forces the powertrain to run at its maximum capacity, too frequent or continued use of the feature can overburden the car. This is why the feature is disabled for 3 minutes after use.
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