What is it?
The long-awaited performance version of the Hyundai Veloster features a raft of chassis modifications alongside the first application of the of the firm’s new 1.6-litre T-GDI engine. It features a twin-scroll turbocharger and represents a 33 per cent increase in power and 59 per cent increase in torque over the naturally-aspirated engine.
The Veloster Turbo retains the standard car’s MacPherson strut front and coupled torsion beam rear suspension set-up, but the damping rates have been increased. The much-maligned power steering system has been modified, too.
With the bold Turbo badging comes a range of bodystyling specific to this performance derivative. Thankfully, the new bumpers, skirts and wings are reasonably subtle as the unique look of the standard Veloster is eyecatching enough.
What's it like?
The standard Veloster lacked the performance expected from the small coupé, but the Turbo goes a long way to address that. The new 1.6-litre T-GDI unit develops 184bhp at 5500rpm and 195lb ft between 1500-4500rpm.
Keep the engine in the peak torque zone and the engine is smooth, if lacking the rorty engine note promised by the large twin tailpipes. Beyond peak torque the engine becomes coarse, so it is more satisfying to short-shift than hold on to a gear. The claimed 8.4sec 0-62mph time isn’t exceptional, but it allows rapid progress to be made.
Tweaks to the steering mean it’s free from the inconsistencies the standard car was berated for, although there’s a vagueness and lightness around the dead-ahead. When pushing on, it lacks the delicacy of the best, but it's still the sharpest Hyundai by some stretch.
The biggest praise is reserved for the retuned suspension setup. Front and rear damping rates have been increased to deliver a planted feel and a well judged ride. It is smooth at speed, with only some mild wind noise around the door mirrors.
The generous equipment list includes leather sports seats, touchscreen navigation, a bodykit and Turbo-specific 18-inch alloys. Only a £950 panoramic sunroof and matt and metallic paint finishes appear on the short options list.
Should I buy one?
Hyundai has worked hard to iron out the deficiencies in the standard Veloster, and it is improved in almost every respect. It's worth remembering a similarly-priced Vauxhall Astra GTC or Volkswagen Scirocco will offer a greater depth of dynamic ability, even if the Hyundai will trump them on equipment.
The biggest deciding factor remains. Will buyers be attracted to the 2+1 asymmetric door layout and quirky looks? Those in search of something different will find plenty to like, those who find it an odd compromise will be better served by a more conventional small coupé.
Hyundai Veloster Turbo SE
Price £21,995; 0-62mph 8.4secs; Top speed 133mph; Economy 40.9mpg; CO2 157g/km; Kerb weight 1313kg; Engine 4 cyls turbo, petrol, 1591cc; Power 184bhp at 5500rpm; Torque 195lb ft at 1500-4500rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual