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Hyundai Veloster (2011) first official pictures

Mon, 10 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Hyundai today finally unveiled its eagerly awaited Veloster coupe at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, aka the Detroit show. It's a coupe-cum-hatchback, along the lines of the VW Scirocco.

We first saw the Veloster as a concept car at the 2007 Seoul motor show. Although the production car unveiled today has changed somewhat, we reckon much of the spirit of the Veloster is maintained.

The Hyundai Coupe slid quietly off sale in 2009, and the Veloster - promised in concept form a couple of years ago - fires the Koreans back into the semi-sporting market. We'll get the new Veloster in Europe, too. UK sales are tipped in October 2011, priced from around £16,000.

The architecture underpinning the new Veloster is all Hyundai i30. So it's front-wheel drive, and will feature engines such as Hyundai's new downsized 1.6 direct-injection petrol turbo. A twin-clutch transmission - Hyundai's first - is also available.

Interestingly, unlike Mini's oddball Clubman, Hyundai has engineered the solitary rear door for left- and right-hand drive. Seen in the final photograph doors akimbo, you'll spot that the Hyundai Veloster won't dump its passengers on the wrong side of the road outside your children's school.

The door handle on the single rear door is cleverly hidden, maintaining the coupe silhouette. If this reminds you of the Mini Clubman's door etiquette, take note of the blackened A-pillars. That floating wraparound windscreen is very Mini-esque.

Looks promising - if a cramped, quasi sporting hatch-coupe mash-up is your thing. And judging by the number of Sciroccos we see on the roads, it might be a sleeper hit for Hyundai and spruce up its sensible-but-worthy image in the UK.

At the Geneva motor show in March 2011. Until today, all we'd seen of the Veloster was the teaser shot, the final image in our gallery above.

'The new Veloster goes a long way to solving the inherent compromise of traditional coupe design, which sacrifices comfort and convenience for style,' said Allan Rushforth, senior vice president and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe. 'This exciting car offers progressive buyers a sleek and distinctive design in an innovative three-door coupe form that provides practicality as well as driving pleasure. The Veloster embodies the evolution of the Hyundai brand in Europe: it’s our latest model to offer great looks in a thoughtfully-conceived package, and still has the well-established Hyundai characteristics of quality, safety and efficiency.  We expect it to attract new customers to the brand when it reaches the European market later this year.'


By Tim Pollard