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Is A Hotter Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec In The Works?


2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

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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.
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Comments (7)
  1. I just love all the reviews of this car and speculative talk of an upgraded version when we haven't even seen the turbo version yet in Dallas.
     
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  2. @Randy, it should be arriving very soon, but it's likely that demand will outpace supply in the initial months. We have the same issue here in FL with the Subaru BRZ: I've yet to drive one in the press fleet, and I've only seen one example on the road.
     
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  3. Your website just lost all credibility with the dancing Castroneves article. Thanks for the info.
     
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  4. Well, I really like a lot of the new product from Hyundai BUT, based on the issues we are now having with BOTH of our 2006 Sonata LX models, which we purchased as new, I don't think we'll be putting any new Hyundais in our garage. Sun visors won't stay up, power door locks no longer work on SOME of the doors, bulbs blow out and you have to take them to the dealer for replacement! Whoever heard of taking a car to the dealer to replace a bulb! These are problems I have seen in forums from many owners so they seem to be design flaws which Hyundai will not acknowledge nor take care of. It's a shame because overall we really like the cars.
     
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  5. Be cool competition for the the FRS and BRZ. Nissan is working on a mini Z too. Things are heating up.
     
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  6. @Matthew, having driven both the Veloster Turbo and the FR-S, I can tell you that they're radically different cars. The strength of the FR-S (and BRZ) is handling - the ability to carry a lot of speed into a corner. The strength of the Veloster Turbo is style matched with reasonable performance. The closest car that Hyundai makes to the FR-S would be the 2.0T version of the Genesis Coupe.

    Put another way, the FR-S is a sports car, while the Veloster Turbo is a sporty car. Both have their merits.
     
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  7. I feel you. Hyundai´s Genesis to me is design to fight the heavy hitters like the Mustang and other ponies. It´s kinda big, pricey ,and like a sledgehammer. Like you said the Scion is like a scalpel with precision handling although it's not as fast. It's more of a smaller, cheaper car too. Hyundai needs to drop a sports car more designed to take on the Scion.
     
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