Hyundai Veloster Headed for Detroit: 1.6-Liter Four, Dual-Clutch Transmission, 40 MPG [UPDATE 2: 210-HP Turbo, Crazy Doors Confirmed]
Ready for the Veloster? A teaser video released through Hyundai’s YouTube channel and an accompanying countdown page confirm that the company will unveil the long-rumored car at the Detroit auto show next month. The video, which is embedded below, reveals that the car will have a direct-injected engine and a dual-clutch transmission and should return an estimated 40 mpg.
Based on our spy photos and prior information, we expect the new Veloster to be a sporty-ish small coupe in the vein of the Scion tC. From the image below, digitally lightened via the miracle of Photoshop, we can see the car will wear Hyundai’s corporate grille, seemingly a blend of the designs seen on the new Sonata and Elantra. We dig the aggressive air intakes at the far edges of the fascia as well as the stylized headlamps with LED running lights.
A Hyundai spokesman today confirmed the car will indeed be a front-wheel-drive hatchback, and said the Veloster will be positioned below the Genesis coupe in Hyundai’s lineup. However, we were told the Veloster is “not a Tiburon,” referring to the company’s last front-drive sporty model that vanished after 2008.
We were also told the car employs a 1.6-liter, direct-injected—but not turbocharged—engine that’s capable of up to 40 mpg. No output numbers were provided, but we’re expecting something in the neighborhood of 140 hp. Transmission choices will consist of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual, which is being designed by Hyundai and will be the first of its kind for the company. Given Hyundai’s recent product rollouts, we wouldn’t be surprised if a turbocharged engine appeared in the Veloster later.
The Veloster will go on sale in summer 2011. We’ll have the full story after the official debut in Detroit next month.
UPDATE 12/27: We’ve confirmed that the Veloster will have three passenger doors in all left-hand-drive countries. But you can forget a Saturn Ion or Mazda RX-8–style half-door: The third door will be on the passenger side, and it will be a full-size, regular door. (RHD markets, including the U.K., will get a model with four full doors.) We’ve also learned that the sporty hatch will receive a 210-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter later in 2011, at least in Europe. We weren’t able to get a definitive answer on the engine’s U.S. availability, but we expect Hyundai will give Americans the option of turbo-y goodness, too.
UPDATE 1/4: The new teaser image at the top of this post provides photographic proof of the weird three-door layout we confirmed early last week. (Click the picture or here for a super-huge version.) The car pictured here is red (you can see the color on the inner window frames) with color-matched accents on the wheels. What we can see of the interior shows a design similar to those of the latest Hyundai cars—e.g. Sonata and Elantra—with a V-shaped center stack flayed across the dash. To the bizarre door layout—weird doors have never powered a vehicle to strong sales—we note that the car has split rear glass, with a large bar dividing two panes, a setup we find annoying on Honda’s Insight and CR-Z, as well as the Toyota Prius.
By Jake Holmes