Hyundai Doesn't Care About Fancy Nurburgring Lap Times
If you’re waiting to hear how the Hyundai Veloster N does around the Nurburgring, you might not find out anytime soon.
Despite spending months developing the Veloster N at the Nurburgring, the Korean automaker isn’t worried about breaking records or bragging about any sort of lap time. And that’s not because the car isn’t capable of being fast around the track, it’s because the Veloster N wasn’t developed for the sole purpose of setting a record. If you’re a fan of The Grand Tour (or Top Gear before Clarkson’s punch was heard around the world), you’ve likely heard the hosts talk about how cars specifically tuned for Nurburgring lap times are terrible to drive. Sharing the same sentiment is Albert Biermann, who is the president and head of Performance Development and High Performance Vehicle Division, Hyundai Motor Group.
Biermann is no stranger to high-performance cars, having formerly been the head of BMW’s M division. Speaking to Road & Track, he touched on the Veloster N’s development and the automaker’s goal with the hot hatch: “Driving enjoyment is the whole point of an N car,” said Biermann. “We developed it for driving fun, for nice challenging mountain roads or a tiny challenging race track. We don’t care about lap times. If you’re going for lap times, the aero settings are different, the suspension setting is different. It’s faster for a professional driver, but it’s not as enjoyable. We don’t care for that. We want many people to enjoy this N experience, people who might not have driven a sporty car before.”
He admits the Veloster N isn’t the fastest car on the track, but it can still be enjoyed on the track. The hatch’s brake system, oil supply system, and “precision in the car” is all there for track driving, but the way the aero, chassis, and tires were tuned aren’t focused on lap times. Had Hyundai N done that, it would be a different car, said Biermann.
As for horsepower, the Veloster N packs a very respectable 275 horsepower, but it’s still shy of other competitors in the segment including the Civic Type R. But that’s another thing Biermann doesn’t care too much about either. “A few horsepower more or less, I didn’t care. The dynamic response was the key target, so you could easily play with the car. When you’re mid-corner, it’s all about dynamic response. Peak power doesn’t matter as much.”
Until we get our hands on the Veloster N, we won’t be able to tell whether Biermann is simply making up excuses for the Veloster N, or if what he says is the truth. We believe it’s the latter, and can’t wait for the Veloster N to prove his points when we get behind the wheel.
[Source: Road & Track]
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Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.
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