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There Is No Plan

Cygnus X-1

Well-Known Member
#3
Indeed and I told the rep it had too many miles. Mainly just probing for shiggles trying to get info on what exactly their testing consisted of. He was a bit taken aback and I told him I wasn’t your typical customer. :cool:
 
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#7
I watched mine come off the truck still wrapped up and it had 16 miles on it. It's not that unusual it seems for these.
I also just picked mine up and it had 10 miles. I was the first person to drive it. It was in their showroom for one day and then I picked it up the next. I think I'm the 2nd person in Washington to buy a VN. Pics should be up here tonight or tomorrow.

Right now I'm at work and wondering if the dealer had to add any shitty hardware for the front plate that it has on it. I'm dying to get home so I can take the front plate off.
 

Cygnus X-1

Well-Known Member
#14
Was trolling a GLA45 AMG and he acted like was pulling, shot off in 3rd and left him. He gave up too easily, because with 104 more BHP and 90 more ft-lbs of BTQ, it should’ve crushed the VN (although it is ~350 lbs heavier). That car (& CLA45) has been on my short list to acquire.
 
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GazmaN

Well-Known Member
#15
Brazen. Starting at 15 miles on 87 AKI, 3rd gear accel & decel, over & over. Hit redline cut a couple of times. Made the dealer swap the oil & filter at 13 mi before I took it. Gave me a sample of the factory oil as well.

View attachment 5920 View attachment 5921
I'll give it to you, you are serious about this business. Hardcore eh. I'd be interested to hear your oil analysis report.
 
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Cygnus X-1

Well-Known Member
#17
VN First Impressions & Review Metrics

Initial Liftoff & Engine Break-in

Idling in the dealer parking lot, I pushed down on the clutch pedal (which does not yield much resistance) and reached for the shift knob. Side-to-side shimmy to confirm neutral, push to the left and up into first easily with good solidity. Not bad, not bad at all. Good placement, felt natural.

Moments before, I had asked the sales rep to show me how to quickly set up N mode. He tapped on the screen (left the protective film on until I find a suitable replacement) and brought up the engine settings. All Sport+ (except e-LSD which only had Sport). Chassis settings... From all the reviews, Normal for suspension, Normal for steering and ESC off. Rev-matching turned on to maximum.

Back to the initial drive-off. It’s been awhile since I drove a manual transmission (kept settling for automatics when picking up some inexpensive A-to-B turbo cars to experiment with), so I went back to basics and remembered my training. First find the friction zone. As I slowly released the clutch pedal, I didn’t actually feel it but surprisingly the exhaust note changed (slightly louder).

Pushed clutch pedal back down and slowly released again. Same thing, so I gave it a little gas and fully released the clutch and let it move under its own power. Smooth, no juddering. Nice.

Stopped and semi-quickly cranked the steering wheel to make a left turn (still in the parking lot). Clunk. “Son of a bitch...” I had seen all the posts about the clunking differential issue here and it happened not 20 feet after pulling away.

Undeterred, I stayed light on the throttle and gently drove to the street and turned right into heavy traffic. Eventually did a long U-turn and started down the 45 MPH four-lane (actually eight lanes in total) road. Hitting traffic again at a stoplight, I dipped right, off onto a side street and tried to get around the light.

Made it around and back on the road but now there was construction, down to one lane and merging into the central four-lane section. Horrible pavement gaps and uneven sections abound, I merge after dodging bumps and the central road appears to become more of a throughway.

I’m pacing traffic and look down at the central display. 15 miles. Left the dealer with 13. As some of you know, I believe in a hard break-in to finish off the ring sealing process, which happens primarily in the first 20-30 miles.

I had the dealer swap the factory oil and filter out before leaving. Pennzoil 5W-30 conventional with lots of molybdenum, which I scoured the 540RAT blog to find. My opportunity to positively affect ring sealing was slipping away.

Briefly experiencing that heartsinking feeling, I shrugged it off and downshifted into second. No rev-matching. Upshifted to third and tried again. Nope. Pressed the checkered flag N button on the right side of the steering wheel. Screen and central display now showed custom N mode enabled. Mileage still at 15. Time to go!

Downshifted into second with a pop-pop and progressively added throttle in second gear until 60, then decelerated using engine braking until 40, for a few times. Then the road widened to six lanes (three each way, of course) speed limit increased to 55, then 60. Another hard throttle pull, upshift into third with a pop-pop and look at the mileage again. 17 miles.

At this point I’m doing wide-open throttle pulls in third gear from 60 to 90 and engine braking back down to 55-60. Watching cars in the rear view mirror quickly get smaller is hugely satisfying and the throttle liftoff and upshift pops put a stupid grin on my mug, with some chuckles thrown in and the occasional guffaw. Timing it to coincide when passing other vehicles is great fun (similar to blowoff valve shenanigans).

As I’m doing this binary method though, the throttle behavior is acting a bit unsynchronized and in need of refinement. Little did I know this was actually due to the garbage 87 AKI fuel the dealer used. Later on in my journey Shell 93 with Nitro+ was added and throttle behavior smoothed out substantially (still not perfect).

Heat and pressure. That’s what forces a great ring seal. I continued to pummel the engine with third gear pulls and engine braking for another 6-7 miles. Remembering that there was fresh, clean oil with extra molybdenum to further catalyze ring sealing, this reinforced my confidence.

At this point I was completely lost and apparently not too far from Trenton, NJ. Finally stopped at a gas station to let the engine cool down. Oil temperature was ~240-250°F (115-221°C) and I wanted to look at some of the other main screen options and get some music queued up.

Jumped on 295W (95S) and started alternating between cruising and fourth gear pulls to 80-85, engine braking to 65-70, occasionally upshifting to fifth gear. After another 30 miles or so, I started doing fifth gear pulls to 90-95, engine braking to 70-75.

Basically I was either accelerating with full throttle or letting the engine brake for the majority of the 700-mile trip. Barely used the brakes. It was fun when I’d be going the speed limit, someone would pass doing 85-90, I’d punch it and even in a high gear, I’d match their speed within 3-5 seconds, depending on which gear I was in.

Review Metrics

Ride Quality: Garbage (3)

I’ve driven some harsh-riding cars before, but the VN is ridiculously bouncy, even in Normal mode. I was literally cringing every time I saw expansion joints on overpasses or patchwork tarmac. I made this pre-assessment after reading all the initial reviews and now I’m even more convinced that softer springs are mandatory.

Sometimes I was bouncing so hard, I was lifted out of my seat and literally yelling out loud “What the fuuuuuuuu...” The search has resumed for a set of 17s to help soften the bumps. I have a set of 19s ready to go, but those are too pricey to risk damaging them.

Only thing saving this from being a 1 is when the pavement is smooth, so is the ride. Any road irregularities and you’ll be hating life.

Steering/Handling: Telepathic (9)

Everything you heard is true. Even Normal mode is adequately responsive, but tended to wander too much. I tried both Sport and Sport+. Sport had the right mixture of solidity, stability, responsiveness and not too heavy as to induce fatigue.

Sometimes I would be off-center in a lane while turning and never felt the need to jerk the wheel to correct, just held the line. Only very small and nuanced corrections were needed mid-curve.

Sport+ gave more of that “riding on rails” feeling but for the highway, Sport was excellent. Phenomenal, really.

Engine Performance: Promising (8)

Still a bit of turbo lag, but worlds better than the VT. Power (torque) is smooth, linear and plentiful in any gear. I couldn’t sense power dropoff that correspond with the many dyno graphs I’ve viewed.

Even sixth gear pulls from 2500 RPM didn’t make me feel like I needed to downshift. Try doing that in a VT (don’t, really).

As mentioned earlier, throttle behavior was a bit jerky but smoothed out when better and higher octane fuel was used.

That being said, I’m a very power-hungry enthusiast and won’t be appeased until output is doubled or more. It will be fun getting there. Engine has serious potential after seeing what has been done with other platforms on the Theta.

Transmission: Fine (8)

Not much to say, so no news is good news right now. I don’t like ball-shaped shift knobs and will look into a getting a bespoke ergonomic knob made. Have not really done any hard launches, as it requires a more menial break-in than the engine.

Rev-matching is amazing, except for third to second downshifting, as it seemed a bit unsettled or I just didn’t release the clutch pedal quickly enough. Probably the latter.

Also, if you hit redline causing a power cut, you will not get pops on the upshift.

Informatics: Ok (7)

More later on this while I explore the interfaces. Some stuff is missing from the VT that I expected to transition over, like the historical MPG histograms. I’m a data hound so I have high expectations. I’d like to be able to add more data PIDs such as oil pressure and intake temperature.

Sound System: Tight (9)

Didn’t feel a need to mess with the EQ until playing old music with no bass. Infinity still makes some quality drivers. Nice and clear, not too harsh, punchy bass. Never felt a need to max out the volume. Could use a deep-hitting sub.

Communications: Mixed (7)

Tethered USB connection caused the sound system to become distorted when browsing the Internet on my phone; had to reset the connection by switching to the radio & back. Annoying.

OBDLink MX was seated the whole time and never a problem (huge defect on VT), OBD-II connection never caused Torque Pro to reset or stall.

Fuel Economy: Outstanding (9)

25.6 MPG when mostly flogging it on the highway. Later on I hypermiled for a bit and was at 31.9 MPG (still trending upward) until I became bored. I know I can easily get 35 with a few tweaks & fluid adjustments.

Braking: Inconsistent (7)

At speed, plenty of bite, small amount of low-speed squealing which was expected. At very low speeds, they didn’t bite enough when lightly squeezing the brakes and adding only a bit more force caused abrupt stops. Will re-evaluate after I swap brake fluid and again after brake lines and yet again after new pads.

Other: Solid (8)

Quiet and vibration-free at idle, comfortable seats, lots of legroom, side mirrors a bit small, lots of glare from body reflections at night when trying to prevent HID/LED blindness, windshield & windows kept fogging up causing too much playing around with the climate controls, door armrest needs a soft pad to prevent elbow soreness.

Overall: 75/10 = 7.5

(Metrics will be updated as I drive it more)
 
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Cygnus X-1

Well-Known Member
#20
Started ordering heat reduction materials. Before I would just use lava wrap, but it’s sloppy, takes forever and looks like garbage.

This time I’m going to use stealthier materials and methods to sufficiently lower underhood temps.

Been too cold for the tires. Soon will set up a new VN profile in TqP and will be reviewing the PIDs.
 
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