Hyundai has slammed down a sub-$32,000 sticker price for its peppy new Veloster SR Turbo coupe, which is now arriving in Australian showrooms.
Priced from a lower than expected $31,990 plus on-road costs, the force-fed sports coupe is now available in a single trim level that costs just $3000 more than the top-shelf Veloster + upon which it’s based.
That makes the Accent-based Veloster Turbo only $2000 pricier than its closest rival, Toyota's all-new 86 coupe, which was a sell-out success even before Toyota announced its pin-sharp $29,990 starting price in June.
At the same time, the turbocharged Veloster undercuts Subaru's BRZ coupe (from $37,150 drive-away) and Honda’s similarly compact CR-Z coupe, which is priced from $34,990 plus ORCs.
As with the standard Veloster, which was launched in February from a bargain-basement $23,990 and now also gains extra standard features, the Turbo can be had with both six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
The latter still costs $2000 extra, with the self-shifting SR costing $33,990, but the Turbo’s beefier engine performance necessitates a conventional automatic gearbox – still with steering wheel paddle shifters – instead of the regular Veloster’s dual-clutch auto.
The Veloster Turbo is powered by Hyundai’s all-new Gamma 1.6-litre four-cylinder twin-scroll Turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (T-GDI) engine, which delivers 46 per cent more peak power (150kW at 6000rpm) and 60 per cent more maximum torque (265Nm at 1750-4500rpm) than the naturally aspirated 1.6-litre GDI engine in the standard Veloster.
With a base kerb weight of 1277kg, the front-drive turbo is heavier than both the garden-variety Veloster (1200kg) and the rear-drive boxer-engined 86 (1220kg), but offers 3kW more power and 60Nm more torque than the Toyota.
To match the extra performance, the SR gains 20mm-larger (300mm) ventilated front disc brakes, a recalibrated suspension package and retuned electric power steering system with a quicker ratio requiring just 2.78 turns lock to lock.
Cosmetic upgrades for the two-plus-one-door, four-seater Veloster body include a more aggressive front bumper and grille treatment, round foglights, sportier side skirts, a rear diffuser, rear spoiler and twin circular exhaust outlets.
Like all Velosters, the SR Turbo rides on 18-inch wheels – this time with chrome inserts rather than the naturally aspirated Veloster + flagship’s colour-coded inserts.
Standard features are otherwise as for the Veloster +, including a panoramic glass sunroof, leather/leatherette-trimmed sports bucket seats, keyless entry/starting, power-folding/heated wing mirrors, automatic climate-control air-conditioning and electric driver’s seat base adjustment.
This is in addition to the entry-level Veloster’s standard seven-inch LCD touch-screen, rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, six-speaker sound, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, daytime running lamps, automatic headlights, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, LED side repeaters integrated into side mirrors and 60/40-split rear seats.
All Velosters also come with tyre-pressure monitoring, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System (TCS), and a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Hyundai has also confirmed that all Veloster + premium models – and the SR Turbo – will now be fitted as standard with an integrated satellite-navigation system incorporating SUNA live traffic, lane guidance, junction views, speed limits, speed warnings and camera alerts.
The Veloster’s new navigation system also includes a complimentary three–year NAVTEQ MapCare plan if the vehicle is serviced at a participating authorised Hyundai service centre.
Other new Veloster + additions include a passenger-side seat back pocket and luggage net, while all models gain a rear windscreen wiper.
While regular Veloster variants are available in eight exterior paint colours, the Turbo comes in just six, including the matte-finish Young Gun and pearl-effect Phantom Black, plus Veloster Red, Battleship and Storm Trooper.
The Turbo colour palette is headlined by the exclusive Marmalade hero hue, a ‘chameleon’ colour that changes depending on the visual angle and costs $1000 extra. Meantime, Hyundai has also increased the price of metallic/pearl paint option for all Velosters from $375 to $595.
At launch Hyundai said it hoped to sell just 200 Velosters a month, but shifted 450 in June (when Toyota sold 414 examples of the 86). So far this year the cheeky Korean coupe has found 1859 Australian homes to snare a quarter of the sub-$80,000 sportscar segment formerly dominated by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe.
The SR Turbo will not be the end of Hyundai’s sports model strategy, however.
Hyundai has told motoring.com.au it is considering a range of SR-badged sedan and hatch models and there is speculation the Veloster SR could be followed by a more hard-core version with greater performance and a more focussed chassis, potentially wearing the Turbo R-Spec name.
Hyundai has previously confirmed its next-generation Genesis coupe will be produced in right-hand drive for markets including Australia and its North American CEO John Krafcik recently told Automobile the next Genesis sedan – which is due to emerge in concept guise this year - will be all-wheel drive capable.
Stay tuned for our first Australian drive of the Veloster SR Turbo next week.
Hyundai Veloster pricing (plus on-road costs):
Veloster manual - $23,990
Veloster DCT - $25,990
Veloster + manual - $28,990
Veloster + DCT - $30,990
Veloster SR Turbo manual - $31,990
Veloster SR Turbo auto - $33,990
Matte/Chameleon paint (Turbo only): $1000
Metallic/Pear paint: $595
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