Since we first started capturing spy shots of the Hyundai Veloster in action, we've reported a turbocharged version was in the works, and that fact was confirmed at the Detroit Auto Show. Now, some of the first specs on the turbo Veloster have slipped out, and they're promising.

The hot-hatch potential of the Veloster is now in the Volkswagen GTI/MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works category, should the stats prove accurate: 208 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque are on tap from the 1.6-liter direct-injection turbo mill, according to the report.

That's a 70-horsepower upgrade from the standard 138-horsepower engine, and 72 pound-feet more torque--enough to make the likely price differential more than justifiable for those that like some kick with their funk. At a curb weight around 2,600 pounds, the Veloster is truly on par with the likes of the JCW MINI, and considerably lighter than the similarly-powerful GTI. If the suspension is tuned properly, the Veloster could offer some serious fun for a relative bargain.

But wait, you say. Hyundai can't be fairly compared to the likes of VW and MINI, can it? In our estimation, yes, it can. Hyundai's advances in build quality, and interior materials and design in the past few years have been truly impressive; if the turbo Veloster adds to the standard car's polish, it will be a new contender in the segment--and more fun, efficient, quick hatches to choose from is never a bad thing in our book.

[Hyundai Blog]