After the usual tease of spy shots and teasers, the sheet has finally been pulled back on the 2012 Hyundai Veloster. Not only does the Veloster take aim at wannabe efficient sports cars like the Honda CR-Z, it reinvents the way we look at the shape of coupes and hatchbacks, employing a unique three-door design that's surprisingly better in execution than we expected.
Hyundai is using its 2012 Veloster to unveil a slate of new technologies, including a brand new engine and transmission, as well as the automaker's first foray into the safety and convenience telematics realm with Blue Link. Hyundai is promising class-leading fuel efficiency with a truly sporty driving experience all wrapped in a wholly unique package, but does the Veloster meet the criteria? Follow the jump to find out.
Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the Veloster is its unique three-door arrangement. This isn't the first time we've seen extra doors on sport coupes, but Hyundai has chosen to forego the use of rear-hinged suicide doors for an honest-to-goodness full-size door on the passenger side of the Veloster. To maintain the car's coupe-like style, the rear door handle has been integrated into the C-pillar, and you really have to see it in person to understand that it's not nearly as awkward as you might think.
Hyundai promises that the Veloster will be agile and fun to drive, employing things like a lightweight V-torsion beam in the rear suspension setup, a 23-millimeter stabilizer bar to control body roll and sport-tuned electric power steering. A quick-ratio steering system has also been fitted, and the Veloster rides on standard 17-inch wheels wrapped in 215/45-series all-season tires. Two sets of 18-inch alloy wheels are available, housed in 215/40-series performance rubber.
The Veloster is powered by Hyundai's all-new 1.6-liter Gamma inline-four which produces 138 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 123 pound-feet of torque at 4,850 rpm. No, it isn't a particularly potent engines, but it should be plenty to move the 2,584-pound Veloster along at a decent clip. Through the use of direct injection, Hyundai is able to make this mill surprisingly efficient, and while official EPA numbers haven't been released just yet, Hyundai claims that the Veloster will net around 40 miles per gallon on the highway, easily besting the Honda CR-Z hybrid and even smaller B-segment offerings like the Mazda2 or Honda Fit. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, though an all-new six-speed dual-cluch transmission is available.
Inside, Hyundai provides a host of newfangled technology, including a standard multi-function seven-inch touch-screen display with Pandora internet radio, Gracenote music display, video playback, video game console connectivity (yes, you read correctly – video game console connectivity) and, of course, Bluetooth. How's that for trying to capture the youth market? Of course, Hyundai's usual host of safety equipment is still on deck, with the new Blue Link telematics system that encompasses things like automatic crash notification, enhanced roadside assistance, remote door and vehicle start, and convenience features like voice text messaging, vehicle diagnostics information and a range of navigation features.
Pricing has yet to be announced for the 2012 Veloster, but in keeping with Hyundai's quest for affordability, we'd assume that the starting price for the new sports coupe will be found somewhere in the sub-$20,000 range. For the full details, check out Hyundai's official release below.
Advanced Technology Three Door-Coupe Features Hyundai Blue Link® and Up to 40 MPG
DETROIT, Jan. 10, 2011 – Hyundai today introduced its cutting-edge Veloster three-door coupe in a world debut 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.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2012 VELOSTER
• All-new three-door coupe design
- Coupe design with the functionality of a hatch and a passenger-side forward-hinged rear door
• All-new 1.6-liter GDI Gamma engine paired with proprietary Hyundai six-speed manual transmission and Hyundai's first dual-clutch transmission
o Up to 40 mpg highway (estimated)
o Better highway fuel efficiency than Honda CR-Z Hybrid
• Standard multi-function seven-inch touch-screen display
o Pandora® internet radio capability
o Gracenote® display technology with voice recognition
o Virtual CD downloading
o AVI and mpeg video playback via USB
o Video game console connectivity with 115-volt power outlet
o Bluetooth® hands-free phone system with voice recognition
• Standard Blue Link telematics platform
• Blue Link Assurance provides a free introductory period of complementary core safety services including Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) and Assistance, SOS Emergency Assistance, and Enhanced Roadside Assistance.
• Blue Link Essentials provides Voice Text Messaging, Remote Door Unlock / Lock, Remote Horn & Lights, Panic Notification, Remote Vehicle Start, Alarm Notification, Quick Tips, Location Sharing, Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification, Maintenance Alert, Monthly Vehicle Report, Recall Advisor, Web Vehicle Diagnostics, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, Vehicle Immobilization, Valet Alert, Geofence, Speed Alert, Curfew
• Blue Link Guidance provides Turn-by-Turn Navigation, POI Search by advanced voice recognition system, POI Web Search & Download, Daily Route Guidance with Traffic Condition, Traffic, Gas Station Locations & Gas Prices, Eco-Coach, Restaurant Ratings, Weather
Veloster is the sixth vehicle in Hyundai's 24/7 version 2.0 product initiative (seven new models in 24 months), on the heels of the all-new Tucson, Sonata, Equus, Elantra and the soon-to-be released all-new Accent.
The 2012 Veloster poses some intriguing questions:
• Why can't a sporty coupe get 40 miles per gallon?
• Why can't a car have the same connectivity as portable electronic devices?
• Why does coupe design dictate only two doors?
• Why can't an affordable coupe offer premium features?
• Why can't Hyundai have two coupes – a playful front-wheel drive model targeting the likes of Mini Cooper and Scion tC to complement the sport-focused, rear-wheel drive Genesis Coupe?
Veloster's unique design takes inspiration from a high-performance sport bike. Veloster has distinctive black A-pillars that give the glass a motorcycle helmet visor appearance. In the front is an aggressive form of Hyundai's signature hexagonal front grille, hood scoop detailing, and unique Hyundai-signature LED position lights. Optional packages add a chrome grille surround, piano black highlights, fog lights, and a massive panoramic sunroof.
In profile the Veloster features "Fluidic Sculpture" character lines, muscular wheel arches, bodycolor door handles and mirrors, and wraparound headlights and taillights. Veloster comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels and offers two types of 18-inch wheels. The top-of-the-line 18-inch wheel comes with painted inserts, a segment first.
Veloster's dynamic rear design has a distinctive glass hatch, dual centered chrome exhaust tips and black lower fascia that complements the assertive front fascia.
Inside, the center stack and controls resemble a sport bike fuel tank and incorporate an available push-button starter. The air vents are inspired by motorcycle tailpipes, while the floor console mirrors the seat of a bike. Metallic accents abound throughout the interior. Alloy pedals and a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are also available.
THE THIRD DOOR
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.
GAMMA 1.6-LITER GDI ENGINE
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.
"Gasoline-direct-injection technology allowed Hyundai engineers to create an engine that is powerful, fuel-efficient, and has fewer emissions," said Hyundai American Technical Center Inc. (HATCI) powertrain director, John Juriga. "Despite its small size, it generates some big numbers, with both impressive horsepower output and up to 40 mpg on the highway."
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.
Gamma highlights include:
• Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT)
o D-CVVT (intake and exhaust camshaft phaser) camshafts and hydraulic engine mounts provide optimum power, efficiency and refinement. Using CVVT on both camshafts has several advantages when compared to using it only on the intake camshaft including an improvement in performance (increased volumetric efficiency) and fuel economy (reduced pumping loss), and a reduction in hydrocarbon emissions.
• Roller Timing Chain
o Helps increase the reliability of the Gamma 1.6-liter engine.
• Electronic Throttle Control
o Eliminates the conventional cable and mechanical linkage found in its predecessor and replaces them with fast-responding electronics. This system accurately controls air intake and engine torque, improving drivability, response and fuel economy.
• Innovative Anti-Friction Coatings
o A Diamond Like Coating (DLC) was added to the tappets to help reduce friction in the valvetrain.
Working together, the complete range of engine technologies produce an engine that offers:
• Best-in-class specific output at 86.3 horsepower per liter
• Excellent fuel economy
• Lower emissions with ULEV certification
• High reliability backed by a 10-year / 100,000-mile powertrain warranty
NEW SIX-SPEED DUAL-CLUTCH TRANSMISSION
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.
DCT benefits include:
• High-efficiency operation for improved fuel economy
• Optimal response and shift control
• Compact design for efficient packaging
• Light weight
The Veloster rides on a 104.3-inch wheelbase, with an overall length of 166.1 inches and width of 70.5 inches.
BEST-IN-CLASS INTERIOR VOLUME
Veloster's versatility and coupe design does not compromise interior volume. Veloster has best-in-class interior volume for the compact sporty car segment. Veloster's total interior volume of 105.3 cubic feet beats the 2011 Honda CR-Z, Scion tC, Mini Hardtop and Mini Clubman.
WORLD-CLASS WEIGHT EFFICIENCY
World-class weight efficiency is a program target for all Hyundai models. This strategy delivers outstanding fuel economy and performance simultaneously. At just 2,584 pounds, Veloster is more than 400 pounds lighter than the Scion tC. This priority on weight efficiency allows the Veloster to deliver a great combination of agility, performance, and fuel efficiency.
FUN TO DRIVE
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.
ADVANCED STANDARD SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES: PART OF HYUNDAI'S ASSURANCE COMMITMENT
Veloster has an exceptional level of standard safety features for the sporty car segment. Veloster has a Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system which optimally manages ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and the Motor-Driven electric Power Steering (MDPS).
VSM works to control two effects. The first is when a driver accelerates or brakes on a split-mu surface (slippery on one side, dry pavement on the other) and the vehicle wants to pull in one direction. VSM detects this condition and sends a signal to the MDPS to apply steering assist. VSM counters the pull and automatically provides eight Newton meters of counter steering. VSM reacts the same way during sudden lane changes or fast cornering.
Veloster features six airbags-including dual front, front seat-mounted side-impact, and front and rear side curtain airbags.
The Veloster also features a state-of-the-art braking package. The package includes four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), to automatically adjust the braking force to front and rear axles based on vehicle loading conditions.
In the digital age everyone wants to be connected to their electronics at all times, so Veloster comes standard with a multifunction seven-inch touch-screen display. At engine start-up, the screen comes to life with a Veloster image and a unique sound. There are three interface layouts the user can choose from.
Pandora internet radio is integrated into Veloster. The display screen has a Pandora icon to stream internet radio from an iPhone, Android or Blackberry. Pandora can also be viewed on the display screen and songs can be given the familiar Pandora thumbs up or thumbs down by pressing an icon. (By selecting the thumbs down icon that particular song will never be played again.)
• Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love anytime, anywhere, through personalized radio stations available on a wide variety of connected devices.
• According to Nielsen, today Pandora is one of the top five most popular apps across all smartphone platforms.
• Pandora gives people music they love through personalized radio stations, created instantly from a single song, artist or composer "seed." Simple thumbs-up and thumbs-down quickly refine stations to each listener's taste.
• Today, tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
• Pandora currently has more than 65 million listeners throughout the United States.
Gracenote improves how Veloster drivers access and manage their music through licensed cover art, enhanced voice recognition capabilities and "More Like This" automatic playlisting. Gracenote helps organize song metadata from a driver's music collection, and associates specific genre classifications (e.g. Indie Rock, R&B, Classical) with the identified tracks. This lets Veloster drivers create targeted similar music playlists with a single button or voice command using Gracenote's Playlist Plus™ technology.
Gracenote MediaVOCS® technology improves the accuracy of the system's voice recognition capabilities for music search and navigation, letting drivers pinpoint bands, artists and albums with hard-to-pronounce names, irregular spellings and nicknames. For instance, Gracenote MediaVOCS helps the system understand artist names like Beyoncé and AC/DC. And drivers can use "The Boss" as a voice command to access tracks from Bruce Springsteen.
Gracenote also powers the Veloster's 3D carousel of album cover art, producing a driver-friendly interface that makes it easy to search for music, select albums and display cover art during playback. The combination of these Gracenote technology features provides Veloster drivers a safe and easy way to manage and enjoy their music on the open road.
The head unit features virtual CD downloading* which is like having a 10-disc CD changer on board. This feature allows for up to 10 CDs to be stored on the systems memory. The systems memory also allows for viewing and storing of jpeg images, AVI videos and Mpeg videos from a USB stick.
One of the display's unique features is an Eco Coach scoring system. This system acknowledges fuel-efficient driving with an eco rewards score and it accumulates points over time for a total Eco Score. The Eco Coach also provides instant fuel economy feedback so drivers can compare their average fuel economy with other Veloster owners on www. myhundai.com.
With video games being an important element of entertainment, Hyundai integrated a USB jack, RCA jack and 115-volt power outlet in Veloster to support gaming consoles for ultimate gaming sessions when in park.
Veloster is available with two audio systems. Standard is a 196-watt AM/FM/Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system with six-speakers and iPod®/USB/auxiliary input jacks. A 450-watt Dimension Premium Audio system with eight speakers including an eight-inch subwoofer and external amplifier is available. An XM Satellite Radio interface is also integrated into the head unit and features channel logos and XM Data services, such as XM NavWeather®, XM Stock Ticker and XM Sports Ticker.
A Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition, address book download and audio streaming is standard. Touch-screen navigation is optional. The system also integrates a rear-view camera, which cannot be found on the CR-Z or tC.
HYUNDAI BLUE LINK
"Blue Link combines safety, service and infotainment into a complete package that works to both help simplify Hyundai owners' lives and reduce distracted driving," said Barry Ratzlaff, director of customer satisfaction and service business development, Hyundai Motor America. "We've carefully studied how drivers rely on smart phones and navigation systems as an innovative link to the outside world. Blue Link brings that seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like voice text messaging, POI web search download, turn-by-turn navigation, and monthly vehicle reporting. Our agent-assisted advanced voice recognition system offers a 21st century solution to performing POI searches in the vehicle. This unique and innovative approach enables Hyundai to deliver fast, accurate searches and downloads of POIs to vehicles without the unnecessary costs of traditional operator-only type systems of our competitors."
As part of the Blue Link launch, Hyundai also will provide Blue Link Assurance on Blue Link-equipped vehicles, which includes core safety services for an introductory period. These key safety services include: Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) and Assistance, SOS Emergency Assistance, and Enhanced Roadside Assistance. After the introductory period, owners of Blue Link-equipped vehicles can choose to extend these and other services as desired. Blue Link package subscription fees will be announced this spring on Sonata.
Blue Link Assurance further expands Hyundai's industry leadership formerly established by Hyundai Assurance, the industry's most comprehensive suite of new-vehicle protection. Hyundai Assurance already offers a 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable bumper-to-bumper warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, 5-years complimentary Roadside Assistance, and Buyer Protection - a credit-protecting job-loss vehicle return program.
In typical Hyundai fashion, Blue Link services were developed with targeted packaging options that are tailored to distinct telematics user groups:
Blue Link Assurance package:
• Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) and Assistance - Provides immediate assistance when an accident occurs and an airbag is deployed. In this event, an ACN signal, containing customer and location information, will automatically be transmitted to the response center. Upon receipt of the signal, a response specialist will attempt to establish voice communications with the vehicle occupants and forward any pertinent information to emergency services.
• SOS Emergency Assistance - Customers request emergency 911 assistance by pressing the dedicated SOS button in the vehicle. This action transmits vehicle information and location to specially-trained response specialists, who assist in coordinating the dispatch of appropriate emergency assistance to the customer. The response specialist remains on the line with the customer until advised assistance has arrived.
• Enhanced Roadside Assistance - Enables customers to contact Roadside Assistance via a single in-vehicle button-press. Vehicle information (including location) is automatically transmitted to a response center, enabling the specialist to dispatch assistance more quickly and efficiently for vehicle assistance and retrieval.
Blue Link Essentials package:
• Remote Door Lock/Unlock - Enables locking or unlocking vehicle doors via a toll-free number, owner's website, or mobile phone application.
• Remote Horn and Lights - Enables activating the horn and/or lights via a toll-free number, owner's website, or mobile phone application.
• Panic Notification - Notifies customers when the panic button on their vehicle key fob has been activated, signifying when a family member or other vehicle occupant may be in danger. Notifications are configured online and occur via email or text message.
• Remote Vehicle Start - Enables customers to start the vehicle via owner's website or toll-free number, or mobile phone application.
• Alarm Notification - Notifies customers when and where the vehicle alert is activated via a text message, email or an automated phone call.
• Quick Tips – Provides quick reference assistance for primary vehicle feature location and function.
• Location Sharing - Enables sending vehicle location to select members of social networking sites, including Facebook - directly from the vehicle.
• Voice Text Messaging – Enables hands-free text messaging to SMS text recipients, including the ability to initiate text messages, rather than only respond to messages, as with some competitive systems.
Vehicle Self Diagnostics:
• Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification - Provides explanation and repair assistance using vehicle data and off-board diagnosis capabilities to better inform the customer of vehicle trouble alerts. A combination of in-vehicle display alerts and guided voice messages provides customers with additional instructions (information also sent to the customer's preferred dealer to assist with the repair process).
• Maintenance Alert - Notifies customers via website, email or SMS message that an upcoming service is due at various thresholds leading up to the event. Configured online, the alerts explain what is included in particular maintenance intervals.
• Recall Advisor – Provides all pertinent recall information should a recall be initiated.
• Web Vehicle Diagnostics - Provides a report of vehicle diagnostics, eco-coach performance and other important information in a monthly email report and web page update, starting 30 days after registering with the service.
• Stolen Vehicle Recovery - In the event a customer's vehicle is reported stolen (and a stolen vehicle report has been filed with the appropriate police department), the response center can provide assistance to the police in an attempt to recover the vehicle.
• Stolen Vehicle Slowdown - Used with Stolen Vehicle Recovery, this enables law enforcement to gradually reduce the engine power of the vehicle, thus slowing it down to safe levels. A warning will be transmitted to the driver prior to the slowdown procedure.
• Vehicle Immobilization - Used with Stolen Vehicle Recovery, this enables law enforcement to send a signal to the vehicle which immobilizes the engine management system, thus preventing startup. This capability is only valid when the ignition is off, but the command can be saved by the engine ECU for later immobilization if the vehicle is on or in motion at the time of signal transmission.
• Valet Alert – Enables alert via text message or automated phone message when the customer's vehicle moves beyond a prescribed region.
• Geofence - Enable monitoring vehicle movement in and out of pre-defined regions configured on the owner's website. When the vehicle enters or leaves a designated region, the customer is notified by email, text message or automated phone message.
• Speed Alert - Notifies the customer via email, text message or automated phone message when their vehicle exceeds the specified speed threshold established on the owner's website. High value for parents of teen drivers and fleet customers.
• Curfew - Alerts owners if the vehicle is being used outside a pre-determined time interval. Alerts are configured online and sent via text message and/or automated phone message.
Blue Link Guidance package:
• Turn-by-Turn Navigation Service - Provides traffic information surrounding the customer's vehicle and in the nearby area, based on preferences established using the owner's website.
• POI Search by advanced voice recognition system - Enables Point-of-Interest searches using an automated voice system. Results can be downloaded to the vehicle navigation system. Live operators provide additional support, if needed.
• POI Web Search and Download - Enables POI search results to be downloaded to the vehicle's navigation system.
• Daily Route Guidance with Traffic Condition - Enables customers to pre-define several routes to a common destination and receive a regularly-scheduled traffic alert for traffic delays along those routes. Results include flow and incident data, along with "Fastest Route" recommendation.
• Traffic - Provides traffic information surrounding the customer's vehicle and in the nearby area, based on preferences established using the owner's website.
• Gas Station Locations and Gas Prices - Locates gas stations by price, brand or fuel type from the vehicle. Results are played back via automated voice, and can be downloaded to the vehicle's navigation system.
• Eco-Coach - Tracks the customer's driving performance habits (MPG and CO2 emissions) on a continual and historical basis. Results and environmentally responsible driving recommendations are provided on the owner's website.
• Restaurant Ratings – Provides restaurant ratings from Yelp.com for local restaurants.
• Weather - Provides weather forecasts and alerts for the immediate area or for customer-defined locations within the owner website. Alerts also appear during navigation routing.
More details on Hyundai Blue Link are available at www.HyundaiBlueLink.com.
Veloster's light weight, high-efficiency, and "own-it" attitude are all characteristics of a long-distance runner. That spirit lives in the bold color palette Veloster brings to consumers, including Century White, Ironman Silver, Triathlon Gray, Ultra Black, Marathon Blue, Electrolyte Green, 26.2 Yellow, Vitamin C and Boston Red.