HYUNDAI VELOSTER TURBO

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Here comes the weekend | Hyundai Veloster Turbo

by Eric Tipan


THREE-DOOR CONFIGURATION

It’s actually four doors if you include the hatch – but who’s counting? This is what makes the Veloster so unique. There’s the effort to be a coupé, while thinking about the welfare of the other passengers. Nothing makes driving a sports car so uncool as havingJust about everyone dreams of owning a sports car, or at least driving one, before they kick the bucket. We dream of harnessing its power, feel it grip the road, conquer the G-forces it exerts on your body, and then step out radiating a sensual allure just like James Bond.

At first glance, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo may not look like your typical sports car, but read on to see why it could be the weekend car you never knew you’ve always wanted.

EXTERIOR DESIGN CUES

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Because of the Accent platform, the Veloster feels larger and taller than most sports cars but that only means more cushion for the pushin’. The brawny interpretation of Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” is expressed by flashy indentations on the hood, flared fenders, and that extra-large grille that somehow reminds me of a whale shark’s wide-open mouth. Colored, I kid you not, Vitamin C Orange, the Veloster sports a blacked-out sunroof and shark’s fin antenna, plus a dual center exhaust framed gorgeously by a black diffuser and rear fog lamps to stop and step out, then pull the backrest forward to let your friend climb out.

James Bond never did that and neither should you.

I see the thoughtfulness in putting the extra door on the passenger side but in my experience with the daily office stuff I carry, would prefer the extra door to be on the driver side – just so I don’t have to go around back to dump my junk in the trunk.

The Veloster will truly shine as a weekend car, going up to Tagaytay or down to Subic, where you can really open it up and let ‘er rip – or as a track-day car so you and your buddies can satisfy your need for speed.

SPUNKY TURBOCHARGED ENGINE

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On Regular and Eco mode, the 1.6 T-GDi is actually boring. The retarded throttle response makes it sluggish and slow to react. Knock it over a little to the right to activate Sport mode and feel all of the Veloster’s 201hp and 265Nm of torque from its audible twin-scroll turbochargers.

From the cabin, I could hear the beautiful sound of the engine rise along with the numbers on the speedometer.

It springs into action with every throttle input, taking advantage of opportunities on the road lesser cars wouldn’t deign to. Paired with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, that small displacement engine with a 9.5:1 compression ratio proves it’s ready to play with the big boys. On pure city driving, I averaged 7.5 kilometers per liter.

TRACK-READY RIDE

Leather sport seats and the V-inspired cockpit (dashboard, infotainment panel, and even the steering wheel spokes) do plenty of hyping on their own but, thankfully, that’s only the beginning. The suspension is stiffer than everyday vehicles and may not be for everyone but combined with the wide (225) tires, it does wonders for the handling and cornering of the Veloster. Increased mechanical grip and great rollover tolerance reduce G-forces in the cabin to make it an exhilarating drive no matter how short it may be.

In the Veloster, you’d keep wishing for clear roads on a 100-kilometer curvy road. NVH levels are on the high side as minor bumps and gaps on the pavement are magnified further by the 18-inch wheels – but who cares when it rides the way it does.

THE WEEKEND CAR

If you think that because it’s priced at P1.608 million it ought to feel like you’re riding on clouds, then you’re missing the point of a sports car. Its suspension is stiff, yet, but not as rigid as higher-priced coupés’ in the local market. That being said, where in Metro Manila’s punishing roads and horrible congestion can you actually take advantage of all that this vehicle offers?

The Veloster will truly shine as a weekend car, going up to Tagaytay or down to Subic, where you can really open it up and let ‘er rip – or as a track-day car so you and your buddies can satisfy your need for speed.

If you’re searching for a way to escape the mundane ride of your daily drive, you need a weekend car – the one you never knew you always wanted.


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VERDICT

Positives: Coupe design and handling.

Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Negatives: Hard to get over three-door configuration.