Three doors of funky plus a hatch and front wheel drive equals what? It equals the 2012 Hyundai Veloster, of course. Asymmetry haters need not apply.
We've known for a while now that the 2012 Veloster would get an unusual three-door layout, with the second on the passenger side for rear-seat access, but these are the first full images of the car--and the full details.
Power comes from a 1.6-liter GDI Gamma four-cylinder good for 40 mpg, 138 horsepower, and 123 pound-feet of torque. Both power and torque reach their maximum rather high in the rpm range, so expect to wind out the little mill to get the most from it. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or Hyundai's first dual-clutch transmission, built in-house.
Already Hyundai is going for the throat, pitching the Veloster as a more efficient alternative to the Honda CR-Z--though it remains to be seen if Hyundai's front-drive sporty coupe will deliver more smiles than the rather ho-hum CR-Z hybrid. Still, beating a hybrid with nothing but gasoline technology is no small feat.
Dual-clutch equipped models also come with an "Active Eco" mode that controls shift points and engine revs to extract about seven percent more real-world fuel economy from the package.
Inside the Veloster, you'll find all the creature comforts you expect of a 2012 model-year car: Pandora radio capability, virtual CD downloading, AVI and mpeg video playback over USB, video game console connectivity, and of course, Bluetooth hands-free calling.
Hyundai's new Blue Link telematics system, debuted last week at CES, is also standard equipment in the Veloster, as is a free introductory trial of Blue Link Assurance, the roadside assistance and crash notification add-on to the Blue Link system. Having Blue Link in the car standard means voice text messaging, remote door lock/unlock, remote start, and much more is also included in every Veloster.
Read on to page two for the full release, and check out Marty Padgett's piece on the 2012 Veloster for even more detail.