Hyundai seem to have rustled themselves up something of a flag bearer in the form of the Veloster. The distinctive 2+1 door coupé design, whilst not to everybody’s taste, did break new ground and has since earned the Korean manufacturer brownie points for innovation and ingenuity, not to mention a new found sense of identity. Now Hyundai are hotting-up their most prized asset with the introduction of the more powerful Veloster Turbo SE.
As the first car to feature Hyundai’s all new 184 BHP 1.6-litre T-GDI engine, the Veloster Turbo SE will benefit from significantly more grunt than the standard model, achieving 0-62 in 8.4 seconds and hitting a top speed of 133 MPH. Elsewhere, the six-speed gearbox has been tinkered with to feature wider gear ratios and firmer dampers ensure improved body control. Penny-pinchers (aren’t we all these days?) will be pleased to know that the wallet won’t take too much of a battering in return for the enhanced performance as fuel economy is only marginally down on the standard 1.6 GDi from 43.5 to 40.9 mpg.
Naturally, the Veloster Turbo SE retains the unique 1+2 door layout but elsewhere on the outside it sprouts a few sporty accessories in keeping with its more edgy persona. These include new front and rear bumpers and fog lights plus a revised grille, twin exhausts and a rear diffuser. The rear spoiler is also longer and chunkier and Hyundai have thrown in a smart new set of 18-inch alloy wheels with chrome inserts to complete the transformation.
The interior receives only modest alteration with no bright red flashing dials or jet fighter-inspired centre console in sight. Only the sportier grey leather seats, adorned with the “Turbo” logo, catch the eye.
In truth, all this is not really a drastic change in styling from the already energetic standard Veloster. That is because the turbocharged Veloster does not rely on cosmetics or a cheap face-lift to dazzle the customer, it is what’s under the bonnet that does the talking.
The Veloster Turbo SE will land in UK showrooms from September 24th 2012. Priced at £21,995, it is certainly competitive, but will Hyundai’s new standard bearer really give performance versions of the VW Scirocco, Vauxhall Astra GTC and other established big hitters a run for their money? We’ll have to wait and see on that one…