VN #1: I Bought a Veloster N

I just bought a 2022 Veloster N, 6-speed manual. Naturally I’m going to aero the shit out of it, which will bring new hatchback content to this site. All of the Veloster articles will be tagged with “VN” in the title for easier searching (and so Miata people can ignore it).

Why a Veloster N?

Last August I decided I wanted a new car because driving a couple hours to and from a track in my Miata was loud and uncomfortable. Yeah, I’m that old. I put a deposit on a 2023 BRZ, but after 6 months of hearing nothing from the dealership, I got my deposit back. It wasn’t just the waiting game, but I realized I don’t want a Subaru engine in anything, and I also want a front-wheel drive sports car for a change of pace.

I’ve owned several FWD cars in the past (Corolla Tercel, EF Hatch, EF wagon, 10th gen Civic, Mini Cooper), and have raced my brother’s Yaris a number of times, and FWD has different capabilities that makes driving interesting. Compared to RWD, FWD is faster in the wet, better in the snow, but is generally slower on track. At Pineview Run, FWD is really fucking slow for some mysterious reason. And therein lies the challenge.

I did a lot of research on FWD sports cars and my top three were the Veloster N. a K24 Civic Si and a Mini Cooper S (or Coupe). The Veloster N is certainly the fastest, but more importantly, it reminds me of the CRX I always wanted in my youth.

The shape of things to come.

I’ve tracked a couple

I’ve driven a couple Velosters at Pineview Run. One of my oldest and bestest friends, Chris Gailey, has let me track his VN at Pineview. The car impressed the hell out of me, and I reviewed it and other cars in Driving Other People’s Cars in 2020, and said this about the VN:

If I was going to buy a new car tomorrow I’d buy a Veloster N. This is coming from a Miata guy who was teetering on quitting racing and buying a ND2. Yeah, the Veloster is that good. I would roll the fenders flat and fit the widest 18″ wheels and tires that would fit, add a splitter and a wing, and fucking dominate.

It took three years, but the plan remains pretty much the same. Except that it’s not easy to fit really wide wheels and tires. Most people have only increased the width by half an inch and are on 18×8.5 +45, and use a 235 or 245/40r18. I waffle back and forth on which way to go on 18″ tires, but if history has taught me anything, then I’ll probably have a dozen wheels in my basement this winter.

On the OEM Pirelli PZ4s I was able to do a 1:17.767 at Pineview Run. I’ve gone a couple ticks faster in my Miata on Continental ECS, and so around this tight track, the VN isn’t any faster than a modified NA6. On Falken RT660s I did a 1:15.565, which is a bit faster than I’ve done in my Miata on RS4s, so again, the Veloster is probably slower than my Miata on equal tires. I suspect this will only hold true at Pineview, and at longer tracks the VN will come into its own.

But check this out, driving that bone stock VN on RT660s, I was only .25 seconds away from the all-time FWD lap record! As a data point, here’s me driving a VN at Pineview on the OEM PZ4s (red) and RT660s (blue). Lateral grip was better on the Falkens, but I also backed up the corners a lot better.

Lateral Gs and speed trace for Veloster N at Pineview Run on PZ4 and RT660 tires.

Admittedly the VN isn’t a Pineview car, and I bought it mostly for coaching at bigger tracks like NYST and Watkins Glen. I’ll be data coaching at those tracks a dozen times this year, but I also want to hit a few tracks that are further away.

Meant for track use

The N stands for Nurburgring, because that’s where the car was developed.

The user manual doesn’t have a bunch of warnings about not driving on race tracks, it assumes you will.


Warrantied for track use

Back in the day you could change the brake fluid and brake pads to higher temp versions and track just about any car. These days it seems like every car overheats on track, has nannies that spoil the fun, or is otherwise unsuitable for track use. Many new cars also stipulate that if you track them or compete in a timed competition, you void the warranty. This even applies to autocross.

There aren’t many new cars that are warrantied for track use. I believe all Porsches are, the Camaro 1LE is and… the Veloster N. From the factory: “Since the Veloster-N was designed for high performance at home or on the track, track utilization alone does not void the warranty.”

Most track cars get modified a little, and if you reprogram the ECU or use a piggyback, install an aftermarket blow-off valve, increase boost, change the turbo, etc., that will void the Hyundai warranty. But you can add a cold-air intake, bigger intercooler, oversized throttle body, and things like that and you’re still covered under warranty. I’m going to drive it without any mods, as it already has 275 hp (about 235 to the wheels according to most dynos), and that seems like more than enough.

Hyundai has a 10-year, 100k mile powertrain warranty, and because I got a Hyndai-certified used car, I was able to get bumper-to-bumper coverage for that entire duration. This is based on the original purchase date of the car, so I can beat the living shit out of this car until November of 2031 and if anything breaks, it’ll be someone else’s problem. That’s pretty incredible, and maybe more of a reason to own this car than everything else put together.

Insured for track use

I did the most adult thing I’ve ever done: bought track insurance. I used a company called OpenTrack because they have an annual policy, whereas Lockton and Hagerty are a la carte, and would require a new purchase every track day.

Total cost was about $3100 for the year, with a 5% deductible. This covers me for unlimited track days in my Veloster and my Miata, and a second driver. Wait, what?!? For realz. I can specify a second driver for any event and they are covered in my car as well.

Pre-delivery purchases

I’m still waiting for the car to arrive, but before that, I’ve already purchased a few things:

  • Brake pads – I don’t like the squeal of race brakes, and prefer a pad with a lower mu, but I also need high temp resistance. I used to get StopTech 309-series pads, but since changing manufacturing plants those pads are now utter shit. So in the end I went with Porterfield R-4E, which is a pad I’ve used before.
  • Tow hitch – I may tow my motorcycle or a teardrop trailer, or add a bike rack. The hitch is also a good jacking point, and I might find a way to use it as a base for a diffuser.
  • Base model spoiler – I’m going to add a big wing in place of the OEM one. The base model Veloster has a simple roof extension without a wing, which won’t compromise my mounting options.
  • Camber bolts – High performance tires require a lot of camber, and I’ve read that people have damaged the OEM shocks by using adjustable top hats. Crash bolts don’t seem to have the same problem, but also don’t allow as much negative camber. The bolts do reduce inner suspension clearance slightly, so this may affect future wheel decisions.
  • Oil cooler – If the engine breaks in the next 10 years, Hyundai will fix it, but it’s still worth taking care of. An oil cooler should help everything last longer, so I splurged on a nice one.
  • Wheels and tires – For dedicated track use, I got Konig Countergram 18×8.5 +43 wheels and Kumho V730 235/40r18 tires. Most people seem to go with 245, but 235 is closer to the standard diameter, and wider tires are not always faster.

Once I receive the car I’ll do some shakedown runs at the local tracks (NYST, PV, WGI) and get baseline data. And then the aero fun begins.

3 thoughts on “VN #1: I Bought a Veloster N”

  1. I just found your site, and as a fellow modified 97 miata owner, and new to me Veloster N owner, in the same red, and living in the midwest, this is incredible hahahaha. I’m reading all of these articles over the next few days!


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