Hyundai Veloster PR ShootIt looks like a sports car; sounds like a sports car, it is a sports car . . . well, not always. Sometimes, performance is not all it’s cracked up to be. Take the Veloster, for example.

When the Hyundai first came out, with its out-there looks and unusual architecture, it shaped up to be a challenger to the hot hatch mob. Unfortunately, somebody had forgotten to give it the performance to match.

The Veloster was held back by a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Many forgave shortcomings, much talk being of the sedan-cum-coupe styling, with two doors on the passenger side, only one on the driver’s side.

The result was added stiffness, and therefore better handling, without the inconvenience of squeezing in and out of the back seats through a single entrance.

It wasn’t until later when a turbocharger was hung off the motor that things began to heat up, Series II adding grunt with a range-topping Veloster SR+ Turbo. Things have continued to evolve, with the latest Veloster 1.6 T six-speed manual (the test vehicle) putting in a stirring performance.

Design of the second-generation has pretty much stayed the same from the word go – bold, some might say brash – typical of a hot hatch, while emphasising the three-door coupe’s sporty DNA.

An expansive front incorporates a sporty take on Hyundai’s hallmark cascading grille. A steeper roofline, increased bonnet length, and sculpted wheel arches back this up for a powerful and refined coupe image.

A new rear spoiler and spoiler side garnish, slits at each side of the rear bumper, front air-curtains to reduce air turbulence generated by the rotating wheels are all designed to reduce aerodynamic drag, maximise fuel efficiency and high-speed driving stability, while also reducing wind noise.

Hyundai Veloster PR Shoot

The MY20 Veloster features LED daytime running lights, reverse parking alarm, rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines, and tyre-pressure monitoring system. The flagship 1.6 T Premium also takes in a panoramic sunroof.

The cabin is the antithesis of the flashy exterior – plain and simple, in the nicest possible way. An asymmetrical layout of the instrument panel and dashboard does reflect exterior styling some extent styling, but the focus is well and truly on the driver’s need to absorb accurate information quick and easy.

The Veloster Turbo Premium boasts leather seat trim, power driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, a Qi standard wireless charging pad, and head-up display.

A sports steering wheel features a colour accent matched to the gear lever handle and cabin highlights, with a semi-perforated leather wrapping for super grip and sporty looks.

Sports front seats with side bolsters add extra lateral support while also featuring central, extra-wide red piping for a distinctive style.

Veloster 1.6 Turbo variants incorporate an 8-inch touchscreen multimedia unit featuring satellite navigation, Infinity Premium audio and DAB+ digital radio, as well as a 4.2-inch TFT colour instrument cluster.

Additionally, turbos have large speedometer and tachometer dials with needles positioned at six o’clock, red lighting that emphasises the high-performance image, and concealed white lighting to add depth.

Hyundai Veloster PR Shoot

The Gamma 1.6 T-GDI petrol turbo direct-injected four-cylinder engine produces 150 kW at 6000 rpm and 265 Nm of torque from 1500 to 4500 rpm. In addition, an over-boost function lets peak torque temporarily reach up to 275 Nm (between 2000 and 4000 rpm) during full throttle acceleration.

Over-boost is available when the engine has reached operating temperature. An electronic wastegate actuator turbocharger allows the precise tailoring of boost to torque curves.

The new Veloster’s more rigid monocoque (27.6 per cent more than before) contributes to a high level of occupant safety in the event of a crash. As well as increasing body rigidity, the body structure is designed to improve driving visibility, ergonomics and ease of entry and exit. Six airbags include front, side and curtain protection.

Hyundai’s Smart Sense advanced safety technologies are standard across the range. These include forward collision avoidance, driver attention warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic alarm and high beam assist.

By all means put the boot in. The Veloster 1.6T is never happier than when the rev counter is running wild. Ease off too much, fail to drop a cog and there’s every chance the engine will stall under load.

Hyundai claims the 1.6T six-speed manual will return a combined urban / highway fuel consumption of 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres. The equivalent test car recorded 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres on the motorway.

Digital performance gauges such as torque, G-force and turbo boost, combined with sports steering wheel and seats, reinforce the fact that the new Veloster is engineered to be driven.

For example, compared with the first-generation Veloster, the MY20 model includes a quicker-ratio electric power steering system for enhanced responsiveness and torque vectoring, which improves cornering.

Thanks to a comprehensive Australian-specific chassis tune, to maximise the high-performance potential of the improved body rigidity and lightweight independent multilink suspension.

Fun can be had with a Drive Mode Select system that allows drivers to tailor the car’s characteristics to their driving style, with Normal and Sport modes featured in the test manual version.

Comfortable driving posture is encouraged by lowering the driver’s seat and raising the instrument panel level. The cargo area holds 303 litres of gear.

The Veloster 1.6 T manual strikes a good balance between sports car performance and driver input. Unique three-door coupe looks and a sub-40K price reinforce the car’s appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.


Veloster 2.0 MPi manual $29,490
Veloster 2.0 MPi automatic $31,790
Veloster 1.6 T-GDI manual $35,490
Veloster 1.6 T-GDI automatic $38,490
Veloster 1.6 T-GDI Premium manual $38,990
Veloster 1.6 T-GDI Premium automatic $41,990
Options: Metallic / Mica paint $595; two-tone roof (Turbo Premium) $1000
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Hyundai dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Veloster 1.6-litre T-GDI Premium turbo petrol engine, 6sp manual)
Capacity: 1591 cc
Configuration: 4cyl inline
Maximum Power: 150 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 265 Nm @ 1500-4500 rpm
Fuel type: Petrol 91 RON
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 7.3 litres per 100 km
CO2 emissions: 169 g/km

Drivetrain: six-speed manual

Length: 4240 mm
Width: 1800 mm
Height: 1399 mm
Wheelbase: 2650 mm
Gross vehicle mass: 1730 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Disc

5 years / unlimited kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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