If you’ve had a chance to sample the new Hyundai Veloster Turbo
, you’ve probably come to the same conclusion that we have: as a sporty car it’s fine, but it’s still not ready to run with the big dogs of the hot hatch world, performance-wise.
Put another way, the Veloster Turbo feels like what we expected from the Veloster all along, but we're not sure how many buyers will seriously cross-shop it against the more sporting hot hatches (like the VW GTI and the Mazdaspeed3). It’s chock full of content, relatively quick and blessed with a stiff chassis, but it falls short of being as fast as its competitors.
A recent conversation with an anonymous source close to the matter has us thinking that this may be by design, not accident. When asked why the Veloster Turbo used the same suspension as the base Veloster
(substituting 18-inch wheels for 17-inch wheels), our source let slip that the Veloster Turbo still left room in the lineup for a higher-performance variant.
If we were to speculate on what such a hypothetical car (call it a “Veloster Turbo R-Spec”) would come to market with, we’d expect it to have revised suspension tuning, possibly with mechanically adjustable dampers. A lower ride height would make sense, as would an independent rear suspension instead of the Veloster’s current V-beam rear setup.
We’d expect to see more power, too, although trying to shoehorn in the 2.0-liter turbocharged four from the Genesis Coupe
(which packs 274 horsepower) may not be cost-effective. We’d bet that Hyundai could squeeze a bit more grunt out of the current 1.6-liter turbo in the Veloster Turbo with intake, exhaust and ECU modifications.
It’s a bit early to hit your Hyundai dealer with an order and deposit check, since Hyundai will need to pay back some of the development cost of the Veloster Turbo
before it seriously ponders a higher-performance variant. We'll point out one more time that all of this is speculative, but if we were the betting type, we’d call an R-Spec model not entirely unlikely in the not-too-distant future.