Who would have thought one of 2019's hottest cars would be a small, three-door hatchback from Hyundai? Yet, here we are.

Hyundai's new N division, headed by the former head of BMW's M division, is ready to build The Ultimate Driving Machines for the general consumer. Its first product is the Hyundai Veloster N.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

Based on the already fun-to-drive second-generation Veloster, the N model cranks things into the "Danger To Manifold" zone with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that sends 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission. An optional $2,100 Performance Package increases output to 275 horsepower, and adds an electronic limited-slip differential, a variable exhaust system, a set Pirelli P Zero summer performance tires on 19-inch wheels, and larger brakes. Especially with the Performance Package, the Veloster N has the goods to move.

Peak torque comes on strong and early at just 1,450 rpm, and drivers can ride that wave all the way to 4,750 rpm with the Performance Package (get the Performance Package or the fun's over at just 4,000 rpm).

Hyundai baked in an over-run exhaust crackle during rapid upshifts and rev-matched downshifts (if that's your kind of thing), and the soundtrack just gets more frenetic with the active exhaust.

The Veloster N offers only a 6-speed manual transmission, which is the surest sign it is aimed squarely at enthusiasts. The 6-speed manual his short, positive throws and its round shift knob has the high-quality feel typically found in a German sport sedan.

Hyundai says it isn't chasing performance numbers with the Veloster N. Instead, it's aiming for driving feel. Consider that mission accomplished. The Veloster N is truly a hoot on the track, and it can feel like a weapon on the street. The steering is direct and nicely weighted, the car is agile in the switchbacks, and the limited-slip differential helps put the willing power to the pavement without inside wheel spin.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

2019 Hyundai Veloster N - Best Car To Buy 2020

With its front-wheel drive architecture and economy-car roots, the Hyundai Veloster N got its start by playing from behind in the performance-car game. And yet, it's an absolute blast to drive whether on the street or the track. Priced from just under $28,000, the Veloster N is a real performance value, and a great entry-level track toy.

Is all of this enough to make the Hyundai Veloster N Motor Authority's Best Car To Buy 2020?

Check back on Jan. 2 when we reveal our winner, along with the champs from our sister sites, The Car Connection, and Green Car Reports. The Car Connection will also reveal the best vehicles in 15 categories to help you choose the best the cars, trucks, and SUVs for your needs. Finally, be sure to vote for our annual Driver’s Choice awards and tell us what you think is the best in every category.