If you happen to have $22,000 burning a hole in your pocket, and want to buy something that looks like a fish crossed with a sneaker, this is your car. But it’s a quick fish, because it’s supposed to have a better power to weight ratio than the competition, like the Honda Civic Si, Mini Cooper S, and VW GTI. You get a 1.6 liter direct injected mill that produces 201 bhp at 6,000 rpm, and 195 lb ft of torque at a German like 1,750 rpm, using a twin scroll turbocharger. This is mated to either a normal 6 speed manual transmission, or if you have another $1,000 and don’t like to row your own gears, you can have a 6 speed automatic with flappy paddles on the steering wheel. This combination in manual trim gets you 26 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. It might just be me, but there’s a huge difference between those numbers, and I can’t help but wonder why.
The $2000 Style Package comes as standard equipment for the Veloster Turbo, so you get heated leather seats with power lumbar support and “Turbo” embroidered on them (just in case you forget), the revised aero kit with a rear diffuser, LED tail lights, 18 inch alloys with chrome inserts, push button start, alloy pedals, side marker mirrors, a new gauge cluster with two TFT screens, and Turbo headliner graphics (in case you forget again.) And if you want to make the inside of your aquatic inspired car even nicer, opt for the $2,500 Ultimate Package, which gives you a panoramic sunroof, automatic headlights, navigation system with a backup camera that works in conjunction with backup warning sensors, and a 115 volt power outlet. To top it off, you can even have a new matte gray paint finish for an extra $1,000.
The problem is that this car is supposed to be quicker than the VW GTI, Honda Civic Si, and Mini Cooper S by power to weight ratio. But it might not be, because the Koreans tend to do the opposite of what the Germans do. German automakers have been known to under rate their cars actual power output. That’s glorious when you actually drive the car and it feels quicker than you think it should be, and it’s a great thing to discover on your morning commute when the guy who’s been hogging the left lane finally gives way. Now imagine the opposite. That’s disappointing. To make matters worse, there’s another issue that slows it up. Unless Hyundai has uprated the suspension from the single rear torsion beam the normal Veloster has, it will likely handle like a fish in a sneaker. Whatever that’s like, but you probably wouldn’t want to find out.
But Hyundai also gives this car a “sport tuned intake and exhaust note”, and sends it out the back through two large round tips, instead of the weird triangular exit the normal Veloster has going on. On top of that, you get sport tuned steering. I’m not exactly sure what that might mean for the Veloster Turbo, but it could be a hint. So far Hyundai has released loads of information about the rest of the car and only minimal info about anything that can make it handle well. Here’s to hoping they have a trick up their sleeve and are waiting to let the cat out of the bag. And here’s also to sincerely hoping that when it’s out of the bag and on driveways, it doesn’t pull that soggy handling torsion beam crap.