Hyundai recently introduced a nifty new car to the U.S. market called the Veloster; it’s a compact three-door coupe with all the latest technology and it’s targeted at younger consumers.
Veloster combines the style of a coupe and the functionality of a hatchback, while incorporating a third conventionally hinged side door on the passenger side for safe, ready egress or access to the rear seat. The rear door handle is cleverly hidden to maintain the coupe design. The sporty, sleek design should have great appeal to high school and college age buyers.
Veloster’s unique design was inspired by today’s high-performance sport motorcycles. With distinctive black A-pillars, the car’s window glass has the look of a motorcycle helmet visor. Up front an aggressive form of Hyundai’s signature hexagonal front grille dominates, along with hood scoop detailing and unique LED position lights. Optional packages add a chrome grille surround, piano black highlights, fog lights and a massive panoramic sunroof.
In profile, Veloster has Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” character lines, muscular wheel arches, body color door handles and mirrors, and wraparound headlights and taillights. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard and two types of 18-inch wheels are available. The rear has a distinctive glass hatch, dual centered chrome exhaust tips and a black lower fascia that complements the front.
On the inside, the center stack and controls resemble a sport bike fuel tank and incorporate an available push-button starter. The air vents are inspired by motorcycle tailpipes, while the floor console resembles the seat of a bike. There are numerous interior metallic accents, with alloy pedals and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob also available.
Under the hood, Veloster is powered by an all-new 1.6-liter GDI Gamma engine paired with either Hyundai’s six-speed manual transmission or the company’s first EcoShift dual-clutch transmission. Either way, the combination delivers a fuel-sipping 40 mpg on the highway.
The all-new Gamma 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is the smallest Hyundai engine to use Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI). GDI technology helps deliver highway fuel economy of 40 mpg, lower emissions and higher reliability. Through the use of GDI, the Gamma 1.6-liter engine delivers a peak output of 138 hp at 6,300 rpm and maximum torque of 123 pounds-feet at 4,850 rpm. The new engine features Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, an electronic throttle control, a roller timing chain, variable induction and innovative anti-friction coatings such as CrN Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating and Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating.
Veloster comes standard with Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, a multi-function seven-inch touch-screen display, Pandora Internet radio capability, Gracenote display technology with voice recognition, video game console connectivity with 115-volt power outlet, and Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition.
Pricing for the 2012 Hyundai Veloster starts at $17,300.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.