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2019 Hyundai Veloster: Sporty, Stylish and Still a Bit Weird

2019 Hyundai Veloster: Sporty, Stylish and Still a Bit Weird
2019 Hyundai Veloster; Manufacturer images

Competes with: Volkswagen Golf GTI, Honda Civic coupe, Hyundai Elantra GT

Looks like: A more aggressive take on the old Veloster

Drivetrain: 147-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder or optional 201-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder; six-speed manual, six-speed automatic or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Spring 2018

Hyundai has pulled the tarp off of its new-for-2019 Veloster sports coupe, revealing some styling updates and a refreshed interior while preserving the oddball two-plus-one door format that has made it unique in the market. Appearing at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Veloster will be shown in both its variants — a naturally aspirated model and a sportier turbocharged version.

Related: More 2018 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Exterior

Outside, the Veloster gets some updated styling, with a rather extensive rework of its body panels but keeping its overall look similar to the outgoing model. It still retains the unusual two-plus-one door layout, with one large door on the driver's side like a coupe and two smaller doors on the passenger side like a sedan, meant to allow a third or fourth passenger to easily get in and out of the backseat without disturbing the driver as it would in a two-door coupe.

The A-pillar is moved rearward for a longer look to the hood, and the roofline is lower. Headlights have been revised with optional LED units, while the wheels are standard 18-inch units.

The back end is completely revised, with a new shape to the roofline, hatchback and now-standard LED taillights. A new rear diffuser has been fitted, and the hatchback's door handle has been relocated for ease of use. An optional blacked-out roof treatment is also available, while the center exhaust design is retained from the outgoing model — one outlet for the standard powertrain, two for turbocharged models. Overall dimensions for the car have grown slightly.

2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo; Manufacturer images

Interior

The Veloster's unique asymmetrical design carries over into the interior, which is now more motorcycle-inspired in its design and driver-focused orientation of gauges and controls. Hyundai has tied the interior colors, trims and materials to the various Veloster trim levels it plans to offer. A new wide moonroof will be available, as is Qi wireless charging and a disappearing head-up display that folds down into the dash when not in use or powered off.

The multimedia system is where Hyundai spent a lot more attention. The Veloster comes with a standard 7-inch touchscreen and an optional 8-inch model, with or without navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on the optional premium system, as is satellite radio and Hyundai's Blue Link concierge system.

The premium audio option (standard on Turbo models) is an Infinity system with eight speakers, including a subwoofer. Blue Link includes such features as remote start, smartphone integration and control, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and even integration with Android Wear and Apple Watch apps.

2019 Hyundai Veloster R-Spec Turbo; Manufacturer images

Under the Hood

Powering the new '19 Veloster is the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder "Nu" Used Engine out of the Elantra. It's good for 147 horsepower and 132 pounds-feet of torque, and it's mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels.

The Turbo models (R-Spec, Turbo and Turbo Ultimate) receive a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder "Gamma" Used Engine with direct injection, making a healthier 201 hp and 195 pounds-feet of torque on regular unleaded gasoline. Under full acceleration, the motor goes into an "overboost" function that boosts torque to 202 pounds-feet, briefly; that motor gets either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Turbo also receives a special sound-enhancement package to create a more visceral, sporty audio soundtrack through the vehicle's audio system.

All Velosters get standard Torque Vectoring Control, an electronic system that employs the traction control to provide a kind of electronic limited-slip differential without the mechanical portion. All models also get a drive mode selector with three available drive modes: Normal, Sport and Smart.

All Velosters get electric power steering, but Turbo models get a quicker steering ratio and McPherson strut front suspension, with a 24-millimeter front stabilizer bar. Rear suspension for the Turbo is an independent multilink design with a 19-milimeter stabilizer bar. Turbos also get 18-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires when ordered with the manual transmission.

Safety

The Veloster gets a big upgrade to safety systems, as well. Standard for 2019 will be forward collision warning with auto emergency braking, as well as lane keep assist and driver attention warning. High-beam assist will come standard with the optional LED headlights. Optional will be blind spot warning, backup sensors with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. All Velosters will have a backup camera with dynamic lines as standard equipment.

Look for the new Veloster to start arriving in dealerships in the spring, and check back with us for full details straight from the exhibit floor at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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