When Hyundai gave us a teaser of its new ‘8-Speed Wet Dual-Clutch Transmission’ for the Veloster N last week, it’s fair to say we were a little nervous. The hot Veloster, and the i30N, both delight in being properly analogue fun.
Their manual gearboxes are an integral part of their character, and we worried that a paddleshift auto would seem too grown up for cars of their nature…
Clearly though, we underestimated Hyundai, because it has now properly unveiled the DCT-equipped Veloster N – and some of its special features are fantastically bonkers.
Take ‘Grin Shift’ for example, which is activated by pushing a little ‘NGS’ button and increases torque by 7 per cent (by allowing turbocharger overboost) for 20secs whilst also maximising the gearbox’s response time.
Then there’s ‘Power Shift’, which engages automatically if the driver uses over 90 per cent throttle. Essentially it throws fuel economy out of the window and ensures maximum torque is available under heavy acceleration.
And last but not least is Track Sense Shift – a setting which decides when the road conditions are “optimal for dynamic driving” and then selects which gear you need to be in and when to change up or down. Essentially it becomes a supremely clever automatic with a fondness for high revs. Hyundai says these are all “video game-like features that enhance driving fun”.
Oh, and don’t forget that the DCT gearbox means the Veloster will get from 0-100km/h in 5.6secs – around half a second quicker than the manual. Plus, we still spy a manual handbrake too. Very important.
We know there’s a facelifted i30N coming at some point soon too, but there’s no official word yet on whether we'll see a DCT-equipped i30N. However, it’d be a huge shock if Hyundai went to all of this trouble to produce a paddleshifter just for the Veloster.
Sounds like the N division engineers have had some fun, though, doesn’t it? So, come on then Internet – manual or DCT?
STORY Greg Potts