Hyundai breathed new life into the hot hatch segment a couple of years back with the Veloster N. Despite only coming with 250 horsepower, the car proved to be a polished track machine capable of hanging with much more expensive metal. Did we mention pricing started at just $27,785?

Now Hyundai has improved the formula with some updates for 2021. Key among them is the availability of an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission as an alternative to the standard 6-speed manual. (The DCT is also available on the related i30 N sold overseas.)

The DCT is a Hyundai N exclusive right now. It uses a wet clutch for improved lubrication and cooling performance over dry-clutch transmissions, and according to Hyundai will help the Veloster N deliver both improved performance and economy over the manual. The 0-60 mph time is a claimed 5.6 seconds, which compares to the roughly 6.0 seconds that the manual delivers.

Hyundai has also added what it calls the NGS (N Grin Shift) program. This combines two elements: improved transmission response for about 20 seconds coupled with a temporary 7% boost in peak torque, which can be handy when passing.

2021 Hyundai Veloster N's dual-clutch transmission

2021 Hyundai Veloster N's dual-clutch transmission

There are also NPS (N Power Shift) and NTS (N Track Sense Shift) programs that optimize the shifts for acceleration and dynamic driving, respectively. NPS is activated when the throttle is depressed more than 90%, while NTS detects when road conditions are optimal for dynamic driving and activates automatically.

The engine in the 2021 Veloster N remains a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 normally rated at 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. An optional Performance Package increases output to 275 hp and adds a few additional go-fast goodies. And drive is to the front wheels only.

2021 Hyundai Veloster N

2021 Hyundai Veloster N

The addition of the DCT should further boost sales of the Veloster N. Although we like rowing our own gears, a DCT can be plenty of fun with lightning-quick shifts. The exhaust crackle that tends to come with DCT shifts sounds good, too.

Also new to the car for 2021 are lightweight bucket seats up front (international version with Alcantara shown). These help save about 4.4 pounds compared to the standard seats and feature an illuminated N logo on the upper side of the backrest. They also provide more support during cornering and have an illuminated N logo on the upper side of the backrest.

2021 Hyundai Veloster N

2021 Hyundai Veloster N

New driver-assist features have also been added to the car. Standard features include forward collision warning, lane keep assist, a driver attention monitor, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic warning.

The 2021 Veloster N will reach dealers in October. The regular Veloster carries over unchanged from the previous model year.