Hyundai Veloster

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the Veloster is its unique three-door arrangement. This isn't the first time we've seen extra doors on sport coupes, but Hyundai has chosen to forego the use of rear-hinged suicide doors for an honest-to-goodness full-size door on the passenger side of the Veloster. To maintain the car's coupe-like style, the rear door handle has been integrated into the C-pillar, and you really have to see it in person to understand that it's not nearly as awkward as you might think.

Hyundai promises that the Veloster will be agile and fun to drive, employing things like a lightweight V-torsion beam in the rear suspension setup, a 23-millimeter stabilizer bar to control body roll and sport-tuned electric power steering. A quick-ratio steering system has also been fitted, and the Veloster rides on standard 17-inch wheels wrapped in 215/45-series all-season tires. Two sets of 18-inch alloy wheels are available, housed in 215/40-series performance rubber.
The Veloster is powered by Hyundai's all-new 1.6-liter Gamma inline-four which produces 138 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 123 pound-feet of torque at 4,850 rpm. No, it isn't a particularly potent engines, but it should be plenty to move the 2,584-pound Veloster along at a decent clip. Through the use of direct injection, Hyundai is able to make this mill surprisingly efficient, and while official EPA numbers haven't been released just yet, Hyundai claims that the Veloster will net around 40 miles per gallon on the highway, easily besting the Honda CR-Z hybrid and even smaller B-segment offerings like the Mazda2 or Honda Fit. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, though an all-new six-speed dual-cluch transmission is available.

Inside, Hyundai provides a host of newfangled technology, including a standard multi-function seven-inch touch-screen display with Pandora internet radio, Gracenote music display, video playback, video game console connectivity (yes, you read correctly – video game console connectivity) and, of course, Bluetooth. How's that for trying to capture the youth market? Of course, Hyundai's usual host of safety equipment is still on deck, with the new Blue Link telematics system that encompasses things like automatic crash notification, enhanced roadside assistance, remote door and vehicle start, and convenience features like voice text messaging, vehicle diagnostics information and a range of navigation features.

Pricing has yet to be announced for the 2012 Veloster, but in keeping with Hyundai's quest for affordability, we'd assume that the starting price for the new sports coupe will be found somewhere in the sub-$20,000 range. 

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