• Jun 21st 2010 at 4:04PM
  • 63
2012 Hyundai Veloster – Click above for high-res image gallery

At a media breakfast in Los Angeles this morning, Hyundai Motor America president John Krafcik let slip that the Korean automaker expects to breach the 40 miles-per-gallon barrier with its forthcoming small sports coupe. Conveniently, if they can reach that performance target, that would best the new 2011 Honda CR-Z, which, despite its hybrid powertrain, achieves just 36/39 city/highway when equipped with a CVT and 31/37 with a manual gearbox. The as-yet-unnamed Hyundai coupe (the nameplates Veloster and Tiburon are still up for discussion) will achieve those figures with a conventional four-cylinder engine, eschewing the added cost, complexity and weight of a gas-electric system.

Likening the forthcoming model to a long-distance runner, Krafcik promises that not only will this Hyundai best the Honda in fuel economy, it will also deliver better performance as well as added utility (read: rear seats and better access). Given that it won't have the cost penalty of a hybrid drivetrain (a 140-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine is expected), we'd be surprised if it doesn't come in at a lower price-point, as well.

In addition to sipping gas, Krafcik emphasized to Autoblog that a key mission for the affordable coupe will be enticing the world's young and increasingly auto-ambivalent consumers with additional technology – all Velosters will come with a large screen on the dashboard as standard equipment, presumably to manage connectivity features in addition to more traditional vehicle functions.

With 40 mpg practicality and superior utility, it would appear that the Veloster not only has a shot at taking on Honda's CR-Z, but also more conventional economy cars like the Ford Fiesta, perhaps trading a bit of practicality in favor of edgier coupe styling and (hopefully) greater performance.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Back in 1989 a 1.6 ZC Honda engine made 140 hp. In 1992 1.6 B16 Honda made 160 HP.
      So 18 years after Hyundai is making 140 hp and the automotive world is open mouth.
      Thats is Jurassic for Honda. Honda is looking the future, Hyundai is looking for quick
      money and said goodbay.

        • 5 Years Ago
        The Vtec needed premium gas, had little torque and needed to be revved into the stratosphere and didn't get anywhere near 40mpg.

        The Hyundai will likely have much more torque, running on regular gas and get much better fuel economy.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Honda fanboy much?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honda did set the bar low, so I imagine Hyundai will beat them on both Fuel Econ and performance (and price).

      The Only thing I don't like about the Veloster Concept (which looks like what is hiding under the Camo) is the U shaped rear window. It looks to have large pillars a poor rear visibility just like the CR-Z.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Everything post-2008 or so is gonna have horrible rear visibility... freaking sucks.. :|
        • 5 Years Ago
        Research roof-crush standards and you'll see why.

        There are some outliers, but 9 newer cars out of 10 i've seen have horrendous rear visibility. Side visibility is getting bad too. Another late 2000's design 'feature'.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they pull this off without a hybrid drivetrain, Honda is gonna look really bad. Between the Fiesta, Cruze, Hyundai and CR-Z, the Honda will be the only hybrid and have the honor of getting the worst fuel economy of the bunch.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In fairness here though, if hyundai can produce a 140hp 4 cyl 1.6 conventional ICE which can both make the sport-minded happy and achieve 40mpg then they will have done something quite improbable.
      I would be happy to see it, as the one point where hyundai still lags is in the finesse and efficiency of their engines.
      Not that you can hold it much against them when you consider how fast they are coming up to speed (no pun intended) compared to the years toyota, honda, et al have been developing and honing that tech.
      If hyundai really can make all those numbers meet in the end, then I'll be newly impressed with them.
      Of course, then I'll be wondering why they didn't use a 1 liter with a turbo (or something) and come in with 45+ mpg or better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not improbable at all, it's possible with dual cam/valve timing DOHC + Direct injection, easily.

        Hyundai's non-GDI engines are actually pretty good, and their GDI powertrains are amazing, look at the new 2.4 Sonata engine; it outperforms every other 4 cylinder motor out there on a efficiency-to-power basis.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Sport minded people (like you say) dont like to admit they have a 1.0L with a turbo on their car. A 1.6L would be a good cut off point, IMO of course.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love hyundai these days.
      Not just a rushing juggernaut of a large and growing car company - but one which pays attention to little ongoing tidbits and responds.
      At this point, with what honda has been up to lately in contrast to what hyundai has been up to - I put my money on hyundai eating honda's lunch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you're right. Hyundai has built their new business model purely on one-ups-manship...and I'm totally ok with that. Someone in Asia has to push the boundaries on non-high performance models. Might as well be Hyundai.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Waiting for Hyundai's answer to the (hopefully upcoming) S2000
      • 5 Years Ago
      They continue to impress. I need a sporty, buzzing 4cyl hatch with a sorted suspension in my life. RWD me?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Having said that, I think the Veloster is going to turn out to be BUTT ugly, with horrific rear visibility.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You mean like the CRZ?

        The Veloster Concept I prefer from the front, but I don't like the rear. Both look to have horrific rear visibility.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And typical horrible Hyundai plastics, Horrible Hyundai noisy interior, typical horrible Hyundai reliablilty on top of horrible Hyundai resale.

        Will probably be another rental car queen like most Hyundais.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hopefully itll be everything the crx was and everything the cr-z is supposed to be
      • 5 Years Ago
      SWEET! Now make a special edition with that 275hp 2.0L turbo that gets 35mpg in the sonata. Please please please
      • 5 Years Ago
      The problem is, this car is still in camo, i cant see a simple design line. it look to me
      like a Drakar ralie car. And ,tipically, lately from Hyundai making nonsense comparisions
      with Honda. But dont be worrried, this car like the Sonata, the Genesis, the Veracruz
      will win all the comparisions test.It make hyundai and his fans happier living his own
      • 5 Years Ago
      How is this new information? Inside Line said exactly the SAME THING a year ago:


      And they quoted the same guy no less:

      And then Krafcik got specific. "It'll be powered by a 1.6-liter four cylinder with direct injection making 140 hp. And it'll get over 40 mpg," he said. "There's just nothing out there right now with that kind of Eco-sport positioning." And there will be a standard screen in the dash for a high cool factor. "Screens are getting cheaper," Krafcik told us.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Some healthy competition between frugal, sporty cars is something that makes the near future in the automotive industry worth looking forward to.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't really think a car that gets 40mpg on the highway is really competing in the same ring as a hybrid meant much more for gas savings in the city. Even humongous sedans can manage pretty fantastic highway mileage these days with some neat transmission and engine tricks but take them into a congested city traffic setting and the mileage tanks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Honda take note, Hyundai is increasingly beating you at your own game. Producing good valued, well priced, ATTRACTIVE looking sedans, coupes, and sub compact sporty cars. Might wanna bring back all the people that retired in the late 80s and 90s on for consultation work, just saying.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This might just be me, but with the way I drive my combined milage usually is the EPA highway milage and my freeway milage is the high end of the EPA milage.

        Wanna know how to get these results? Coast to stoplights and exit ramps (from the right lane!!) and don't speed. It's not bad to go into the right lane and just go 55 mph.

        What I like about Hyundai's is that the engines are a bit torquey. I shift my Hyundai at about 2k and I get about 35 mpg with it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It does, although I wouldn't call this competition for CR-Z. I'd say it's more like a dea/th knell.

        Hyundai is usurping the brand traits of Honda and Toyota pretty quickly. In five years, they'll easily be equals in most peoples' minds.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Dr.Pro Good point. The Fiesta is rated at 40 MPG highway, but just 29 MPG city. That's a pretty wide gap. The CR-Z narrows the gap considerably, making it the more efficient car for city driving.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hardly anyone buys hybrids for their highway mileage, so i wouldnt call it a death knell, tho i hope honda does see it that way and work on their engines.
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