What surprise is this prototype hiding?
Ever since Hyundai released its hardcore Veloster N hatchback, it has only been offered with a six-speed manual transmission mated to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 250 horsepower or 275 with the optional performance package. Not opting to offer the Veloster N with an automatic was a bold move by Hyundai that pleased enthusiasts at the risk of alienating those who prefer two pedals.
Other automakers have made similar decisions in the past, like Ford with the Fiesta, Focus ST and Focus RS and Honda with the Honda Civic Si and Type R. But Hyundai has stated in the past that the Veloster N may not remain manual-only forever.
The less powerful Veloster Turbo is offered with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which would make sense for the Veloster N. We likely haven't seen the DCT offered on the Veloster N up until now because it would need to be modified to handle the N's extra power. It seems like Hyundai may be close to announcing a DCT for the Veloster N, as this spy video from the Nurburgring shows a Veloster N test mule being unloaded from a truck, sporting what is believed to be a new DCT.
The video isn't able to get up close to the interior to confirm what type of gear lever the car had but we can clearly see the reverse lights come on briefly when the car is put into gear. This is a telltale sign that the driver had to pass reverse on their way to the drive position on the gear lever. Although the manual will remain popular, we think Hyundai is smart to offer a DCT in order to attract more buyers who may opt for the likes of a Volkswagen Golf R instead.