Hyundai Veloster revealed

13 Dec, 2010 11:27am Tom Phillips

Korean firm finally unveils its stylish 2+2 coupe, complete with crazy 2+1 doors.

Hyundai is set to serve up a new niche when the Veloster hits the road later this year. The firm claims the new car will be the first “utility coupe”, although there’s no doubting that the car is aimed straight at the likes of the Honda CRZ and Renault Megane Coupe.

The Veloster was first shown as a concept at Hyundai’s home Motor Show in Seoul in 2007. Hyundai had no plans to put the car into production, but such was the favourable reaction, that the firm decided to greenlight the car in a bid to help Hyundai appeal to younger buyers.

Details from the original showstopper, including the sculpted bonnet, striking LED head and taillights and blacked-out A-pillars are all carried over. But the big news is that Hyundai has decided to include the unique 2+1 door layout. On UK cars, the driver’s door is elongated, like that of a normal three-door hatchback, but on the passenger side, there are two, conventionally-hinged doors, with the rear aiding access to the back seats.

The interior as been cleverly packaged to liberate decent cabin space and a large, deep boot, while the design has been created very much with a younger audience in mind. 

To that end, the centre console is dominated by a seven-inch touchscreen display which features the firm's new Blue LInk tech. This means the car can be connected to a whole host of devices ranging from iPods to PlayStations, while the stereo will also feature Gracenote database access to your music is named and organised in the same way as Apple’s iTunes music store.

The Veloster has been developed under the codename FS, and is built on a modified version of the Cee’d’s front-wheel drive platform. Entry-level cars are powered by a 138bhp 1.6-litre direct injection petrol engine, with flagship models getting a 205bhp turbo version of the same engine. The car will also debut Hyundai’s six-speed twin clutch gearbox, which ups efficiency by five per cent and acceleration by up to seven per cent over the standard six-speed manual.

Prices are yet to be confirmed, but the car is aimed at buyers of the Renault Megane Coupe and VW Scirocco so expect a starting price of around £19,000. Production of UK cars begins in August 2011 so expect the first cars to arrive by the end of the year. The lower powered engine arrives first, with the turbo coming in late 2012. 

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Isn't that nose a straight lift from Citroen DS4?

The Veloster concept came out in 2007. The DS4 was unveiled this who did the copying?

This looks like a Kia Soul that has been morphed by a computer! Interesting. Actually, the DS4 has headlights that are almost identical to an ASX, but where are the signature chrome chevrons on this that make it look like a Citroen? In any case, car designers do not live on different planets; they all go to the same motor/design shows and spend their lives copying each other but trying to make their output look different whilst going in the same direction! Then they move jobs from one car-maker to another and take their ideas with them, or work for companies like Ital design (who did/do lots of designs for start-ups like Hyundai, Kia, Daewoo and the rest), and who have a house 'style'. Guiguaro or whoever is The Boss and what he likes goes forward and what he doesn't like goes nowhere (or the designer jumps ship and takes his/her talent elsewhere). Then there is legislation, which defines where the headlights and bumpers, etc. can be, leaving the designers very little leeway to design a car that is different to any other. Also, no matter what commentators here say about boring/fantastic designs, anything too outre is just not going to sell in big enough numbers to justify the outlay in tooling, so it's a miracle cars are not more similar!

What Ironic said and also: there are elements of all sorts of different cars in there. You can say that about pretty well every new car produced today. It maybe interesting to play join the dots as it were, but a diversion shouldn't be changed into a criticism. This car does not mimic the Citroën and nor vice versa.
One thing is for sure, the Koreans are catching up very quickly in all areas of car design —if they've not already passed everyone else. I think this is probably good news all round.
I would criticise the 2+1 door arrangement. It sucks, especially if we take our cars to the UK where we are then forced to use the 'wrong' door. Cue accidents.

"I would criticise the 2+1 door arrangement. It sucks, especially if we take our cars to the UK where we are then forced to use the 'wrong' door. Cue accidents..."

As amply demonstrated by the dire Mini Countryman...

I agree that the Koreans have been busy getting their house in order over the last few years. Design wise, KIA in particular have produced some stunning looking cars recently and I don't understand the attitude some people have taken against Korean cars on these pages. Most Korean cars are now comparable, or even surpass, Japanese vehicles for build quality and driving dynamics these days. They certainly supply better warranties and after sales service and in my opinion, their showrooms are far friendlier places to be than those of the established western marques

I am British and would dearly love to support our own economy by buying a British family car. Sadly, this just isn't possible these days as we don't possess a mainstream car manufacturing industry anymore, and please don't throw Ford and Vauxhall at me because neither company are British.

To get it out of the way, I have nothing against Korean cars.

Is it just me, or is this car really ugly? It is supposed to be a stylish coupe, but to me it is neither - it's a "style" over function, ill-proportioned hatch, with unremarkable drivetrain. The rear is just hideous, and very un-practical - rear view is seriously flawed. There might be parking cameras and sensors, but it's just added complexity and weight, for no engineering benefit.

I find the current "curvy" car design direction, taken by some manufacturers (Hyundai, Nissan, even Mercedes) really uninspiring - somehow it manages to look un-ballanced and un-coherent, like the designers tried too much - neo Rococo design?

I don't think it's ugly, but it does look like every other Hyundai. I bet it will sell big in the US. Will it attract buyers away from the Genesis though?

I saw the original concept and thought it was ok - I was actually looking forward to the release of the car - and that by the time it reached production, they'd drop the silly idea of 3 doors.

Shame. Someone should tell car designers that being different doesn't have to mean ugly or stupid.

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