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Detroit show: Turbo turns up Veloster velocity

Quick Korean: Hyundai has its eye on the Golf GTI with its turbocharged Veloster variant.

Hyundai finally presents Tiburon replacement, but local release some time away

10 Jan 2012

HYUNDAI has targetted the Mini Cooper S Coupe, Volkswagen Golf GTI, Honda CR-Z and upcoming Toyota 86 with a new Veloster Turbo that surfaced for the first time at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week.

Australian release has been confirmed, although it will not go on sale here until the end of this year at the earliest.

Based on the unique 3+1-door coupe/hatch that finally arrives here in mid-February, the performance version will be the first ‘driver’s car’ from Hyundai since the demise of the Tiburon V6 some 15 months ago.

From the front, the Turbo is differentiated from the naturally aspirated Veloster by an aggressively restyled nose featuring a bold hexagonal grille opening, LED headlights, larger foglight surrounds and special aerodynamic foils for improved air flow.

New 18-inch alloy wheel designs with chrome insets, body side skirts, lower ride height and a revised rear bumper with more prominent diffusers also distinguish the Turbo, which is 30mm longer and 152mm wider than the standard Veloster.

The show car’s ‘Matte Gray’ paint is a Hyundai first, though white, blue and orange are also among the colour options.

Hyundai claims the large round exhaust pipes, replacing the regular car’s central trapezoidal outlet, was inspired by customised sports motorcycles.

1 center imageAt the car’s heart is a new 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine producing 150kW of power at 6000rpm and 264Nm of torque from 1750 to 4500rpm.

Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or conventional torque-converter six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters – both of which were developed in-house.

The auto replaces the dual-clutch transmission offered on the naturally aspirated models for reasons of durability and driveability due to the extra torque load.

Along with a heady 93.6kW per litre, Hyundai claims the Turbo delivers class-leading fuel consumption of 8.7 litres per 100km on the US highway cycle (6.2km/100km on the city cycle) thanks to the twin-scroll turbocharger’s improved efficiencies in exhaust pressures and lightweight design, as well as lower operating temperatures and a leaner air/fuel ratio.

Furthermore, the exhaust manifold is made from stainless steel and is an innovative one-piece design for cheaper manufacture and improved durability.

The turbo wastegate employs an electric motor-driven controller rather a mechanical operation, providing more precise control, better cold-start driveability and fewer emissions.

Other features designed to attract enthusiasts include a revised exhaust system with a meatier note, ‘sports-tuned’ motor-driven electric power steering, thicker anti-roll bars (measuring 24mm front and 23mm back) and rear monotube shock absorbers.

Safety items include electronic stability control, six airbags and four-wheel discs with ABS, brake assist and EBD, while other goodies include projection headlights with unique LED headlight accents, LED tail-lights and leather-faced seats.

Australian specifications and pricing will be revealed closer to release.

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