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Turbo boost for Hyundai coupe.

Byline: Robin Roberts

WITH two doors on one side and one on the other, the Hyundai Veloster always turned heads, and now its new high performance turbo-charged version will put them in a spin. The turbocharged version of the Veloster 1+2 door coupe is now available in showrooms priced from PS21,995 and is the first to feature Hyundai's 1.6-litre T-GDI engine with a high-compression, twin-scroll turbocharger. To best suit European driving tastes and enhance driver enjoyment, power output has been boosted and low end torque increased so it develops 186PS and is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission with wider gear ratios than the normally aspirated version.

This gives 133 mph and acceleration from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds with maximum torque between 1,500rpm and 4,500rpm and sports specification includes firmer dampers. The Veloster Turbo SE emits 157g/km CO2 and is claimed to give up to 40.9mpg on the combined cycle.

The front bumper, radiator grille and front fog lights are new to the Turbo and there's a longer and wider rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light.

Three colour options will be available for the Turbo SE, namely White Crystal (Solid), Phantom Black (Pearl) and another Hyundai-first a Matt Grey finish. The Pearl and Matt Grey paints cost PS445 and PS525 respectively. A tilt and slide Panoramic sunroof is available for PS950.

Inside, the Veloster Turbo SE has re-designed leather seats with grey panels.

Hyundai's seven-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system, incorporating media centre and reverse parking camera with parking guidance, comes as standard.

With navigation, buyers also receive an upgraded eight-speaker sound system including amplifier and subwoofer and the car is covered by Hyundai's five year warranty package.

Veloster product manager for Hyundai Motor UK, Paul Strong, said the car had always been crying out for a power uplift to closer match its sporting coupe looks, and this was now available.

The Veloster Turbo generates nearly 33% more power and much more torque for mid-range overtaking but it also slips in beneath the significant 160g/km emissions mark.

It will be joined next year by a more basic Veloster Turbo at just under PS20,000.

Closest rivals to it must be the VW Scirocco 1.4TSI and Vauxhall's Astra GTC 1.6 VVT Turbo.

On the road, the driving position is not only commanding but direct and the power feeds in smoothly but quickly with some lightness of the back end becoming apparent. Driving with some restraint it grips well and responds faithfully to throttle, steering and brakes. I liked the slickness of the gearbox and the wider ratios mean you are not having to make rapid changes up the box during acceleration, but the test car had a particularly long clutch travel with was annoying. Ride quality has been tuned to be firmer for UK roads and it bumped over some pieces of Tarmac but it always let you know how it was coping through the amount of road and suspension noise produced under the Veloster Turbos wheels. Without properly trying it brim to brim it would be impossible to accurately gauge fuel consumption but I estimated it to be about 37mpg, which means it would be a good long range tourer if you did not need a lot of interior room or luggage space.

No doubt a steady run along motorways and main roads would keep down engine and road noise as well.

The Veloster Turbo has all the potential to become one of those much sought after, future classics, which will bring a timeless smile to a driver's face.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 28, 2012
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