First Look: Hyundai Veloster

Concept comes to life.

by on Jan.04, 2011

From a 3-door concept to a 5-door production vehicle, Hyundai's new Veloster debuts in Detroit next week.

Nearly three years after it made its striking debut in concept form, Hyundai is offering up this new teaser shot of the 2012 production version of its Veloster concept vehicle.

Due for a formal debut at next week’s North American International Auto Show, the Veloster is designed to put a little spunk back into the fast-growing Hyundai line-up, targeting sporty models like the Volkswagen Scirocco, or Honda’s CR-Z – in rumored non-hybrid form – among others.

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In its original concept trim, the Veloster was a 2+2 3-door hatchback.  And Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik had promised more than 70% of the prototype’s “design language” would be retained.  In production form, however, it appears, the Koreans have opted for a more flexible 5-door shape with what appears to be a more functional rear seat layout.

If a new press release from Hyundai is any indication the show car’s name will be retained for the production version, which is roughly the same size as the current Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

Look for a decidedly lower price point of around $15,000, however, with Hyundai putting the emphasis on sporty performance.

We’ll have to wait for final powertrain details.  Some insiders say the 2012 Hyundai Veloster will share the latest Elantra’s 1.8-liter Nu I-4 powertrain.  Other reports suggest there’ll be two powertrains based off the same 1.6-liter I-4 block.  In naturally-aspirated form, that should yield about 140 hp and as much as 40 mpg on the highway.  A 200 hp turbo version will also be available.

Those and a variety of other questions should be answered when Hyundai steps into the spotlight at the Detroit Auto Show next Monday.

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