I liked the Hyundai Veloster when I first drove it at the press preview in Portland, OR, back in October. I like it even more after spending a week behind the wheel of the little three-door coupe. It’s nicely designed, very sporty and handles well in traffic and on the highway.
My only knock on the car was that it was a bit underpowered, but Hyundai has moved to correct that fault, introducing a new turbocharged model for the 2013 lineup. The turbo version of the Veloster made its world debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January. It’s a bookend to Hyundai’s turbocharged sports coupe lineup, paired with the refreshed 274 hp rear-wheel-drive 2013 Genesis Coupe 2.0T (Turbo), which also debuted at the show.
Veloster is powered by a new 1.6-liter 201 hp Turbocharged-Gasoline Direct Injection (T-GDI) engine mated to a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. The T-GDI engine produces 201 hp at 6,000 rpm and 195 pounds-feet of torque from 1,750-4,500 rpm with regular gas, and delivers 27/38 mpg with manual transmission models.
The Gamma engine has a twin-scroll turbocharger that, when combined with the GDI system, results in instantaneous power delivery.
Twin-scroll turbochargers are usually found on more expensive high performance engines. They have two exhaust gas inlets divided by split walls inside the turbine housing, with both gas passages controlled by a waste-gate. A twin-scroll turbo recovers more energy from the exhaust than a single-scroll turbocharger, thanks to a divided manifold. The twin-scroll design separates the cylinders, whose exhaust gas pulses interfere with each other, resulting in improved pressure distribution in the exhaust ports and a more efficient delivery of exhaust gas energy to the turbocharger’s turbine.
The Turbo Veloster has the same 104.3-inch wheelbase as the production Veloster, but the Turbo is 1.2 inches longer (167.3 inches) and about a half-inch wider (71.1 inches).
It is further distinguished by a sexy sport-tuned engine intake and exhaust note, sport-tuned steering, a unique front fascia, foglights, 18-inch alloy wheels with chrome inserts, a Graphite Black interior with blue accents and headliner graphics. Full leather seats with the word “Turbo” stitched into the seatbacks deliver a unique look and offer excellent support and comfort.
A Supervision Cluster in the dash gives the driver information in a larger, clearer and more interactive format, thanks to a pair of screens located between the tachometer and the speedometer. The center stack and controls resemble a sport-bike fuel tank and incorporate a push-button starter and alloy pedals. Heated front seats are standard on the Turbo version.
Pricing on the 2012 Hyundai Veloster starts at $17,300, but an MSRP for the Turbo model has not yet been released.
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.