Every now and then, we receive a set of spy shots that leaves us scratching our heads. While this may look like a Veloster N, it could in fact be something completely different. Notice those aero elements on the alloy wheels? They're not there on the production hot hatchback, which also lacks that little sticker on the quarter window saying: "fahrzeug mit hochvolttechnik." That's German for "vehicle with high-voltage technology."
Upon a closer inspection, we notice black tape running along the side skirts to conceal wires that are going inside. It's the same story with the roof as more of that tape was used to hide cables that go into the cabin. The front air intake on the driver's side appears to serve a functional role rather than being a simple piece of plastic as it's the case on the other side.
Hyundai Veloster N PHEV spy photos
The most obvious change is the extra cap sitting next to the fuel filler. Square rather than round and looking out of place, it's likely there to protect the charging port. We strongly believe Hyundai was testing a vehicle with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The chunky dual exhaust tips and the visible muffler underneath the car confirm there was an ICE under the hood.
Such a design with the two fuel caps sitting next to each other would never fly on a production car, which leads us to believe this is a test mule for a different vehicle. After all, reports from South Korea state Hyundai will end production of the Veloster and its hot N derivative this month due to poor demand, so it wouldn't make sense to engineer a third generation.
Assuming it's not a Veloster N, what else could it be? Perhaps Hyundai is already testing a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the next-generation Kona N. Adding the electric motor could give the performance crossover all-wheel drive, with the combustion engine driving the front axle and the e-motor powering the rear wheels.
Of course, this is all purely speculation on our part since details are nonexistent about this mysterious Veloster N-bodied test mule. If the new Konda N will indeed go the PHEV route, chances are it's going to have over 300 horsepower seeing as how today’s model offers 286 hp when the overboost mode is activated for 20 seconds.