Building a vehicle for everything, whatever, and all-in-between can be a rather tricky and large undertaking but even still, Hyundai went ahead with the attempt back in 2011. What resulted was the 2012 Veloster that was in fact, “engineered for whatever”. The exclusive looking compact hit the market with far too many innovative features not to land in the industry spot light from three doors, fuel mileage “games”, device syncing and 40 mpg. While the car was and still is a well put together and charming hatch-coupe-back, a bit of room for imporvement was left on the table and finally, that cultivation is here. Now available is a car that is still capable to doing “whatever” but with the added benefit of simply more power. Enter the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
Last year, we traveled to the sunny coast of Florida to sample the first iteration of the Veloster. While it proved to be solid, fun-t0-drive, efficient and useful, its 138 horsepower didn’t exactly match its extroverted styling. Thus, we weren’t the only ones scratching our heads as to why Hyundai would plant an Accent powertrain into a “reverse halo” car, all while not offering an additional engine. Not a company to ignore grips, Hyundai did what it does best and listened; quickly developing a powerplant more suited to the Veloster’s character. Shortly after the car’s launch, the annual Hyundai-Kia International Powertrain Conference revealed the first turbocharged application for the 1.6 liter Gamma engine and sure enough, a few months later, the Veloster Turbo was announced. By adding a twin-scroll snail to the dual cam inline four cylinder, output has been boosted so that the compact can finally drop jaws while moving instead of just when sitting still.
In order to get a taste for the Veloster Turbo, we traveled to the busy city of Austin, Texas to get behind the wheel of Hyundai’s next “it” car. Like its naturally aspirated brother, the Turbo uses an all-new, front wheel drive platform that is exclusive to the Veloster namesake. Featuring an independent front suspension and unique, V-Beam torsion bar rear set-up, the hatchback is a classic, low-cost compact with a twist. Big, 24 mm front and 23 mm rear anti-sway bars compliment a sport-tuned suspension with mon0tube shocks. With the exception of a faster, 13.9 ratio electric assisted steering rack, the Turbo’s chassis and its tuning is unchanged from the base Veloster. A new set of wheels and tires as well as new body parts and some subtle interior tweaks add up to a new kind of car with new pricing to boot. Base MSRP is $21,950 or $4,650 more than the lowest price original. A total of four Turbos are offered: two standards and two “Ultimates”. Equipping the car with the automatic transmission costs $1,000 while the Ultimate Package that includes Panoramic Sunroof, navigation, backup warning with camera, automatic headlamps and a 115 volt outlet will cost buyers $2,500. The most expensive 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo carries an MSRP of $25,450.
While the 1.6 liter Gamma managed to earn a spot on Wards 10 Best Engine list for 2012, the automotive and engineering experts are not solely concerned with outright power. When placed under the hood of the Veloster, the free breathing inline four cylinder is eager to rev and sounds healthy but there has always been a sense of “is that it?” Without forced induction, the block’s 138 horsepower fits perfectly with the Accent’s character but it clashes a bit too much with the racey and obscure Veloster. With forced induction however, the three door is finally the car it always should have been. By strapping a single, twin-scroll turbocharger to the double overhead cam engine, total output has been raised to 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque on regular grade fuel. The bore and stroke are the same for both Gammas but the turbo uses an 9.5:1 compression ratio compared to a 11:1. Gasoline direct injection and 18 psi of boost pressure are on hand to make sure acceleration is crystal clear and while it may pump out 63 more ponies, the Turbo is still an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV). If that weren’t enough, the car continues to achieve solid fuel mileage with EPA ratings of 26 mpg in city and 38 mpg on the highway for the manual. We fully expect the turbocharged Gamma to land on Wards 10 Best list for 2013.
Just like the first run Veloster, the Turbo comes in two transmission forms: an automatic and a manual. Unlike the naturally aspirated car, the boost feed version comes with a traditional six speed automatic instead of the dual clutch. The reasoning, according to Hyundai themselves, is that the DCT is unable to handle the added torque delivered by the turbocharger and to be honest, we welcome the slushbox over the confused dual clutch. Hyundai’s automatics as of late, all of which are built in-house, have been wonderful and the Veloster’s is no different. Paddle shifters allow for manual inputs and a new “sport mode” will hold gears longer for redline upshifts. As solid as the auto is, the Veloster fitted with three pedals is our preferred way to go. We spent the majority of our time bonding with a six speed manual variant and its actions were always crisp and precise. Each gear change is accompanied by a lightweight and easy to use clutch and after just a few attempts, heel-toe downshifts were being banged off left and right. The Veloster was always a master of ergonomics and the Turbo is just the same. The car has an excellent ability to be grabbed and tossed around like it’s an old friend. Everything from the steering wheel, the shifter and the pedals are placed just right for all types of driving and with its tilt and telescoping wheel, the Veloster is more than welcoming to all types of drivers.
When it hit the market last year, the Veloster dropped more than just one jaw to floor for its outward appearance. Taking styling cues from the world of motorcycles created one of the most profound vehicles the world has seen and each angle looks as if it was shaped for a reason. Being radical is one thing, but the added power of the Turbo definitely warranted a bit more “tough” to the Veloster’s portfolio. In order to strike fear in the eyes of the Volkswagen GTI, Mini Cooper S and Fiat 500 Abarth, the folks at Hyundai fitted the Turbo with a bit more muscle which comes in the form a new body kit and new feet. A lower front fascia with flared angles and big fog lights work perfectly with new, LED accented headlamps. Longer side skirts flow right along to the exclusive rear bumper with diffuser and integrated dual exhaust tips. Making the entire package complete on all versions are a brand-new set of 18 inch direction wheels wrapped around Kumo tires. For the Turbo, two new colors are offered: an Elite White and a very special, low-volume and attention needing Matte Gray. Overall, the boosted Veloster looks just as unique and innovative as before but with the added benefit of being absolutely unyielding. This is one strong looking car, especially in the flat color that received more than one complement from passers-by.
It didn’t take much at all, but like the 2013 Genesis 2.0T, Hyundai has transformed the Veloster into what it should have been in the first place. Getting inside the Turbo, one would think it was the same car as before with a well placed dash, supple seats, high quality materials and an easy to use navigation system. The back section still folds to offer up to 105 cubic feet of interior volume and the single rear door still opens to make loading stuff and or people just that much easier. It is a fantastically useable vehicle but in Turbo form, its charm has been raised by numerous levels. Fiddling with the electric steering has eliminated the strange, off-center feel that was present last year and in its place is accurate feedback and nice weight. Still not as desirable as a traditional hydraulic system, the 2013′s is honestly improved and a much better fit to the Veloster’s chassis. Turn in is quick and the big stabilizer bars make for plenty of high-speed grip and confidence. And while it may be true that suspension tuning and dampers are the same as the naturally aspirated car, the power isn’t so overwhelming that it makes for a nervous ride. If anything, the previous tune was ready for the added power as its responses are still tight and accurate. Nothing is jarring or rough and even with the big wheels, the ride quality feels just as composed as the standard car with 17 inch alloys.
The Veloster has successfully been changed. Accelerating quickly no longer requires constant trips to redline as the boosted Gamma behaves in a way that goes against all previous notions of a turbocharged vehicle. Where most forced induction four cylinders, especially small displacement ones, experience lag that only delivers oomph high up, the Veloster’s power is conveyed so linear that it feels naturally aspirated. Torque seems to be ready no matter what and only when sitting in higher gears are downshifts really needed. Turbo lag of any sort simply doesn’t exist and both six speeds are geared just right for the engine’s output. While it may be useable, there is no sudden hit of boost that creates remarks such as, “where’s the turbo… WOAH, there it is!” Perhaps done to play things safe, the Veloster Turbo will not offend anyone who isn’t use to forced induction engines and doesn’t require expensive fill-ups with premium gas. By no means boring or slow, the car could be more rambunctious and cause more damage to the front tires but for now, we will gladly wait for a R-Spec version to perhaps filled that spot. The Turbo is plenty quick and so true in its forward motion that it should satisfy most drivers. If anything, there’s always the aftermarket which will surely be visited given the Veloster’s style and forced induction application. This is a welcoming vehicle for all types of people with its style, power, efficiency, price and useful nature. Just like before, Hyundai actually achieved their goal of building a car for whatever but this time around, the 2013 Veloster Turbo does everything, this, that and all of the above and does it rather quickly.
Related Topic Tags
- 2013, 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo, First Drive, Gamma, hatchback, Hyundai, Hyundai FIR, Hyundai Reviews, Three Door, turbo, Veloster
Discuss this and other Auto news in our Car Forums
- New Rebate for all cars
- 2008 Nissan Armada - Shaking & Tire Wear
- Marks Start Of Acura CSX
- how fast is acura tsx 2008 in 0-60?
- Acura RSX - Integra Again
- $100 back when you test drive and buy
- problems w/ blower
- Ford Parts
- How can I get a hold of potential buyers for my car via the internet?
- Cheap Limo Orange County
- i want to buy a car. what should i get for my first?
- Ford's new Mondeo
- 2014 Buick Regal
- Coming out of Asia and Conquering the World