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2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Overview
When it was first introduced for the 2012 model year, the Hyundai Veloster turned a lot of heads with its sporty, unconventional 3-door hatchback design. However, many were disappointed with the vehicle’s lack of get-up-and-go. This model year, Hyundai has attempted to correct those perceptions with the revamped Veloster Turbo.
The new iteration comes equipped with a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder direct-injection engine that will spit out 201 hp—63 more ponies than last year’s Veloster; torque increases 72 lb-ft to 195. The car comes equipped with 18-inch wheels and a 6-speed manual transmission, and an automatic with paddle shifters is optional. Of course, it still has its unique right-rear passenger door that got everybody talking.
It’s also a tiny bit bigger and, well, meaner. The new model is 1.2 inches longer and 0.6 inches wider. Gone is the charmingly goofy grin, replaced with a bigger, more aggressive grille, which some say spoils its looks. LEDs accent the projector headlamps, and the foglamps are in redesigned housings. The rear end has also been lifted and tightened, with two circular exhausts peeking from below. It’s still a head-turner, but maybe for the wrong reasons. Five colors will be available for the Turbo—2 exclusives, including a first-ever matte finish for the line.
The steering has also been re-calibrated to complement the new engine specs, promising to result in improved control and performance. Electric power is favored over traditional hydraulic steering for the Velosters, which also helps with fuel economy. Suspension-wise, the Veloster Turbo relies on the same McPherson struts, as well as coil springs and gas shocks, of the conventional model.
Inside, the Turbo is fitted with comfortable, sporty leather seats with its name boldly emblazoned. Heated seats, along with a 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth technology and a 450-watt multimedia audio system add class and functionality usually reserved for higher-end cars. Hyundai is promising a graphics package for those wanting an even sportier ride.
Hyundai is also touting a better power-to-weight ratio for the Turbo than competitors in its class, which will add some zip. The front suspension features gas-charged hydraulic shocks, and the steering has been fine-tuned for better response. Its mileage specs aren’t too shabby, either: 27 mpg city/38 highway with the manual (the automatic has not yet been released). The Veloster Turbo's sportiness combined with efficiency will appeal to the youthful, frugal consumers Hyundai covets.
The Veloster was a fun, almost comical, addition to the Hyundai line. With this new iteration, the company seeks to—literally—give it some teeth.
by Stephen Moramarco
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