At the Detroit Motor Show, Hyundai has taken the wraps off their all-new second-generation (2019) Veloster. Admittedly, we were a little skeptical of this particular model actually getting a full blown sequel, especially so soon. But here it is, with a fair few bits understandably shared with the i30 hatch, in all its asymmetrical 3+1 door glory.
Hyundai had teased the Veloster more than a few times in the run-up to this official reveal, to the point of sucking out any real mystery surrounding the production model. As a result, much of the exterior is exactly how we pictured it to be, with a face that’s very much in keeping with the corporate face worn by other Hyundai models, bearing angled rectangular headlights and its hexagonal ‘cascade’ grille.
What happens around the back, though, was a little less obvious. The roofline silhouette hasn’t changed, but the new arrangement has resolved the rear face quite nicely; a far more convincing take on the hatch/coupe compromise than the original managed. Hyundai says that the design work was collaboratively undertaken by teams in both Seoul and Irvine, California.
Overall, their second stab at this quirky formula has yielded a car that handles its uniquely lopsided door arrangement with a lot more grace, even doing a better job at masking the sole second row access point on the passenger side while exuding some added muscularity, especially with the right paint and larger 18-inch alloys fitted.
Hyundai will offer the Veloster in the familiar array of flavours, too, starting with a vanilla base model that’s powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre MPI petrol four-cylinder that generates an adequate 110kW and 179Nm, a 7kW/12Nm improvement over the previous model’s 1.6-litre unit. They come as either the standard or Premium grades.
From there, step up variant will be - as before - the Veloster Turbo, which carries over the T-GDi turbo-petrol from the first-generation car. It produces 149kW and 264Nm from its 1.6-litre displacement, and includes a 10Nm overboost function in brief moments of acceleration. Buyers will get a choice of having any of these engines paired with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters.
Naturally, the warmed up Veloster - Turbo R-Spec, Turbo, and Turbo Ultimate - comes with more goodies to entice the more enthusiastic driver. Aside from the visual enhancements and dual exhausts, there’s firmer ‘sports’ suspension and faster steering, though unexpectedly all - including the entry level ones - are equipped torque vectoring control to better provide increased grip in tighter corners.
The Turbo also aims to deliver a more involving aural experience through a feature called Active Sound Design (sound like an elective course in college), which regulates intake and exhaust resonance to essentially make the car sound a little angrier when driving in a more spirited manner.
Inside, the new Veloster adopts many of the cues that were previously seen in more recent additions to the Hyundai line-up, particular with the i30 on which it’s largely based. It’s certainly a more driver-centric layout, punctuated by a central touchscreen (up to 8-inches) that sits freestanding above the HVAC cluster with air climate control at its flanks. Past those are the, horizontally, the gear shifter, an analogue handbrake (thank goodness), and the drive mode selector.
All Velosters come with six airbags as standard, and though the exact breakdown of safety features aren’t fully detailed, it is confirmed that the range-topping variant will get quite a comprehensive suite of active safety kit such as Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (AEB, basically), Lane Keep Assist, and Blind Spot Collision Warning.
Following this North American showroom debut in Q2 of 2018, an international rollout for the second-generation Veloster will commence a few months later, which is when the car is expected to reach Australian shores.