A high-performance turbocharged Hyundai Veloster has been confirmed for the UK; it arrives in 2012

A high-performance turbocharged Hyundai Veloster has been confirmed for the UK market. The car - which arrives in the second half of 2012 - has been previewed by a customised variant displayed at this week’s SEMA motor show in Las Vegas.

The Hyundai Veloster has been receiving solid reviews since its launch – with the exception of its somewhat anemic 1.6-litre inline-four engine, which makes only 138bhp.

See pics of the turbocharged Hyundai Veloster

But the new twin-scroll turbo package should take the power up to an estimated 207bhp, according to Hyundai of America CEO John Krafcik, who admitted he didn’t originally expect there’d be demand for the extra power.

A hint of what’s to come is on display at the annual SEMA Show, an annual aftermarket extravaganza in Las Vegas where Hyundai has a half-dozen concept vehicles on display – including the ARK Performance Veloster, a customized one-off that uses a twin-scroll turbo to squeeze 210bhp out of the hatchback.

The Hyundai Veloster’s initial appeal is in its distinctive design, which features a single door on the driver’s side, but two on the passenger side, making it reasonably easy to get into the back seat. A hatch also enhances cargo access. The car has a sporty appearance that, unfortunately until now, was more poseur than real.

The turbo Veloster will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January and reach US showrooms by spring, according to Krafcik.

Its launch will continue Hyundai’s twin-track marketing strategy. In recent years, the brand has had a major comeback in the US by emphasizing design and, in particular, fuel-economy. But it is now pushing into performance, as well, with products like the Genesis Sedan R-Spec.

During the maker’s SEMA preview, Hyundai rolled out a concept version of the smaller Genesis Coupe with a 450bhp, 5.0-litre V8 developed by Rhys Millen.

According to Krafcik, “the V-8 fits” with little work. The Korean marque will listen for feedback to see if that combination should also be brought to market.

Paul A. Eisenstein

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