Hyundai introduced its cutting-edge Veloster three-door coupe at the North American International Auto Show. The 2012 Veloster delivers innovation to the compact coupe segment with a unique third door for easy rear-seat access, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, Pandora internet radio with seven-inch touch-screen display, and a new 1.6-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine mated to Hyundai’s first dual-clutch transmission.
Veloster combines the style of a coupe and the functionality of a hatchback, while also incorporating an additional passenger-side door. In the past, some coupes have used smaller rear-hinged access doors. These coupes have always been compromised by having to open the driver-side door before the rear door could be opened, proving to be inconvenient for both the driver and passenger, and extremely difficult to operate in tight parking lot situations. Hyundai’s fresh take here implements a conventionally hinged door on the passenger side of the Veloster, providing safe and ready access to the surprisingly spacious rear seats. The passenger-side rear door handle is hidden to maintain the coupe design.
The all-new Gamma 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is the smallest Hyundai engine to use Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI). GDI technology helps deliver estimated highway fuel economy of up to 40 mpg, lower emissions and higher reliability. Through the use of GDI, the Gamma 1.6-liter engine delivers an estimated peak output of 138 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and maximum torque of 123 lb.-ft. at 4,850 rpm. But GDI is only part of the story as the new Gamma also features Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, an electronic throttle control, a roller timing chain, variable induction and innovative anti-friction coatings such as CrN Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating and Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating.
Hyundai’s commitment to making the Gamma engine extremely fuel efficient continues by pairing it with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an all-new, six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) developed by Hyundai. Hyundai’s new DCT takes the benefits of a manual transmission, including low fuel consumption and sporty driving, and blends them with automatic transmission benefits, such as high comfort levels and smooth shift quality. In addition, the DCT enables direct connection for high efficiency and uninterrupted torque transfer during shifts. Automatic transmissions lose power and fuel economy in the torque converter.
Other improvements of a DCT over a traditional automatic include a five to six percent improvement in fuel efficiency as well as a three to seven percent improvement in acceleration performance. Veloster’s DCT can be thought of as two traditional manual transmissions, each with its own clutch operating in parallel and alternating shifts. Veloster is a six-speed with one clutch acting on gears one, three and five and the other used for two, four, six and reverse. This shifting process results in quick smooth transitions with none of the efficiency loss normally associated with torque convertors. The clutch actuator assembly features electric motors for actuation, and an external damper improves NVH. This powertrain also has an Active Eco mode which modifies engine and transmission control for improved fuel economy that translates into more than a seven percent improvement in real-world fuel economy.
The Veloster is fitted with a McPherson strut front suspension, coil springs, gas shock absorbers and a 24 mm diameter front stabilizer. The rear suspension is a light-weight V-torsion beam, a Hyundai-first with an integrated 23 mm stabilizer bar to allow bracing of the arms for greater stiffness and to further control body roll. The rear suspension also uses monotube shock absorbers for ride comfort.
Veloster features sport-tuned electric power steering that adjusts instantly to changing driving conditions while improving fuel economy over a conventional steering system. A quick-ratio steering rack is used for crisp feel on turn-in. Veloster’s turning diameter of 34.1 feet is better than tC’s 37.4 feet, CR-Z’s 35.4 feet, Mini’s 35.1 feet and Mini Clubman’s 36.1 feet. Standard are 215/45HR17 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels. There are two optional 18-inch alloy wheels with lower profile 215/40VR18 performance rubber.