2012 Hyundai Veloster - Spied

Caught in the open for the first time is the upcoming Hyundai Veloster, the small, front-drive sports coupe first introduced—to much laud—as the Veloster concept at the 2007 Seoul auto show. Though most of the prototype seen here is covered in black camouflage, we can tell that in order to fulfill Hyundai’s promise of 2+2 seating, the Veloster has grown considerably compared with the eensy concept car we saw before.

The side windows, for example, now stretch past the B-pillar, and the taillamps, which previously sat atop the rear fenders, are now situated back on the rear plane. Tallish sides and a long roof mean that the fat fenders have been toned down, and with them the concept’s dramatic road stance. Darn. Here we were hoping that this would be the next Honda CRX.

But all hope for fun is not lost. The Elantra-based, front-wheel-drive Veloster will probably not be more than a few inches longer than a Mini Cooper, and indeed looks small enough that its expected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine would get it by in a spirited way. (We expect the motor to offer somewhat more than the 138 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque that it currently produces in the Elantra.) A choice of manual and automatic transmissions is pretty much guaranteed. And if, say, the 2.0-liter motor is offered in 210-hp turbocharged form, as seen in the Genesis coupe, that might really put the “velocity” in Veloster.

When will it appear? Well, as we reported last summer, Hyundai product PR chief Miles Johnson confirmed that the Veloster will launch some time during the 24/7 2.0 program, a two-year period during which the company will launch seven new products. The Genesis coupe kicked off the introductions about a year ago, meaning the Veloster should appear within a year at the latest. Expect prices to start in the $18K range.



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