Hot hatch on a budget
THE turbo version of Hyundai's Veloster sports-coupe-cum-hatch will cost $31,990 plus on-road costs, several thousand dollars cheaper than the company hinted it would be just a few months ago.
The company no doubt has been influenced by increased competition in the budget performance category courtesy of Toyota's pointed $29,990 pricing for its 86 coupe.
The Veloster SR Turbo's $31,990 figure positions the quirky 2+1 door hot hatch considerably cheaper than rivals such as Ford's newly released Focus ST (from $38,290), Volkswagen's Golf GTI (three-door from $38,990; five-door from $40,490), the Mazda3 MPS (from $39,490), Subaru's WRX (from $39,990) and Mitsubishi's Lancer Ralliart (from $44,990).
Although the Veloster SR Turbo undoubtedly will fight for sales against the above competitors, it's down on power compared to most of those cars.
Its 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque - the closest rival in terms of power output is the VW Golf GTI, with its 2.0-litre turbo engine producing 155kW/280Nm.
The Veloster SR Turbo comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while an optional six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters adds an extra $2000 to the asking price ($33,990 plus on-road costs).
Go-fast nuts will appreciate the bigger front brakes (300mm, regular
Veloster 280mm), a revised suspension tune and different steering rack for quicker response.
Standard gear includes a chunky full body aero kit, 18-inch wheels, part-leather sports bucket seats, twin exhaust outlets and a large sunroof.
Interior gadgetry includes sat nav with live traffic updates, a seven-inch touch-screen media unit with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and eight-speaker stereo system.