By on January 9, 2012

With spotty Internet coverage at Cobo, some of the photographs and stories created for TTAC’s readers during the day are just now making it our desk. So, here are some comments on the Veloster Turbo and Genesis Coupe from Speed:Sport:Life’s Byron Hurd:


To be honest, I had to remind myself more than once leading up to the conferences today what Hyundai actually had in store for us, and given the no-brainer that is the Veloster Turbo and the long lead on the mid-cycle refresh of the Genesis Coupe, can you blame me? In the mind of many enthusiasts, these cars already existed. We just needed Hyundai to validate that for us. And that they have.

The Veloster comes exactly as-expected. The 1.6L 4-cylinder engine in the base car gets a simple, non-sequential, single-vane turbocharger that bumps the horsepower from an unremarkable 138 to a healthy 201. From my experience in the NA model, more power will cure a great deal of its problems, but the key difference between the Veloster and Hyundai’s claimed competition is in the handling. While they’ve come a long way in ride quality, the chassis is only about 80% there. There’s only so much Hyundai can do with a twist-beam rear end, so I’m curious to get behind the wheel of the boosted version and see if they’ve buttoned it down to boot.

Hyundai also insists that the matte finish on the show car will be available on the production model, and for a “reasonable” price. What’s reasonable to you or me may not be such to a Hyundai buyer, so I suppose that remains to be seen as well.

Gen Coupe:

As for the Genesis Coupe, this refresh was a long time comin’. The base model gains a twin-scroll turbocharger and 64 horses, for a grand total of 274. Not to be outdone, the the V6 model adds direct injection to the list of the 3.8L’s tech specs, and between that and some additional tuning, now has 348hp (previously 306). Even without any chassis or transmission updates (Cliff’s notes on the press release: there are revisions), this should be enough to trounce a 370Z (don’t even ask about a G37) and put the V6 Mustang back in its place, if only just. Bigger game (your 5.0s and such) will still put the Genesis in weeds on a a track, provided you’re not planning to go more than a dozen laps, by which time a V8 pony’s brakes will be gasping for fresh air.

As for the styling, the front end refresh on the Genesis works surprisingly well. Early pictures emphasized the overwrought grille and hood, but they’re far better integrated than the photos let on. It may not be pretty, but it works.

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23 Comments on “NAIAS 2012: Hyundai Veloster Turbo And Genesis Coupe...”

  • avatar

    I don’t think the family face works on the Coupe at all. I would have much rather seen something closer to the Genesis sedan. It would have looked better and cleaner, AND would have tied the two RWD offerings together as cut from the same cloth. It doesn’t work here and just serves to alienate the sedan’s styling that much more.

  • avatar

    Ditto on the wait-and-see approach to the suspension. Hyundai has nailed powertrain technology, fit-and-finish, and overall design quite nicely, but all of their models still lag in the area of suspension finesse. The torsion beam in particular feels fine to 90% of the people 90% of the time, but push it around a bumpy on-ramp and those weird little sideways jiggles will remind you of the money you didn’t spend.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve got the 2009 Genesis and the suspension is it’s weakest link…way too underdamped. I drove a Veloster and was disappointed. The ride was harsh and LOUD…like there was no insulation between the driver and engine. It’s power and handling didn’t match it’s looks. Felt like you paid more for flash and loss of functionality (compared to an Elantra.)

  • avatar

    That’s a shame. Carp mouth + FWD overhang = ugly.

  • avatar
    Twitter: phauser

    The huge grill has the potential for some aftermarket parts. Terrible if you live in a state with front plates though.

  • avatar

    To “cure” the base Veloster’s “problems” would require Cruze-style mild turbocharging. It’s a different car with GTI-level power, but this different car will be neither fish nor fowl.

    I’m a Veloster owner. If I were looking to trade up to a hot hatch it wouldn’t be to a Velosterbo. I wouldn’t mind the power, but I wouldn’t want to pay more than a $1K premium for it if the car is otherwise basically the same.

  • avatar

    The Hyundai Veloster – It may look dangerous, but it actually only eats plankton

  • avatar

    How important is it to design something that photographs well as well as looks good in person?

    If first impressions count for so much, then maybe a lot of people will have their minds made up based on those photos no matter what.

  • avatar

    I’ve just never warmed to the Veloster. It’s from the same busy-energetic school of design as the Ford Fiesta and Focus, but I honestly feel the Fords do it better. The Veloster just looks messy…and those faux scoops in front of the front wheels really annoy me. This new, overlarge quasi-Audi grille doesn’t help.

    Not really feeling the Genesis coupe, either, though it’s not as bad.

  • avatar

    Wow. Just when you thought this thing couldn’t get any uglier, once again Hyundai proves us all wrong.

  • avatar
    PJ McCombs

    The turbo Veloster looks fantastic IMO.

    Makes me wonder if Hyundai didn’t pull a (rare, lately) marketing “oops” with this car. If the base and turbo versions were going to be released so close together, I can’t help thinking they would have been better off waiting six months and sending turbos for the buff books to review at intro.

    Then they would’ve had nicer things to say, and would’ve glossed-over the high-volume trims like they do in most early reviews, instead of labelling the Veloster a slowpoke/fashion trinket (as they would with most cars, if they tested their volume trims).

    Oh well, can’t wait to test-drive one.

  • avatar

    The Veloster turbo’s front end is “gag me” ugly, to a fault. There had to come a day when Hyundai design would hit a brick wall, and this is it….literally by the appearance of it.

    So what happened to the expected announcement of an Elantra Coupe, and/or an Elantra 4 door with this 1.6 turbo? The “car of the year” deserves this power, and the target market would be much larger than it will be for this “large mouth bass” pictured here.

    The Genesis Coupe now has the specs that makes it a really attractive proposition, is it too late in its cycle to get the message out to a large enough buying audience?

    • 0 avatar

      I prefer the look of the base model, but they mar it by putting the mount for a front license plate on the car whether the owner needs it or not. It’s a butt-ugly afterthought for those of us in one-plate states.

  • avatar

    I’d be the first to say that I love the compact and weird styling of the Veloster, but then again I also tried unsuccessfully to convince the wife to buy a JUKE and have owned an FJ Cruiser in the past.

  • avatar

    I’m so torn about the Genesis Coupe. I want to buy one, but what I really want is the 2013 engine in a 2012 body. I think the current model looks great, but the 2013 is kind of hideous.

  • avatar

    I’m on the “Love it” side of the Veloster-styling-armchair-critics-internet-debate-club. Drove by a dealership 6-8 times this weekend while test driving my new hooptie. They had a lovely white one out front, and I am very much looking forward to purchasing a non-turbo version for my first born 12 years from now.

  • avatar

    That is one ugly car. I’ve had stools that looked more elegant.

    I realize looks are quite subjective, and that there’s no accounting for good taste, but c’mon, who can say this is an attractively styled car?

    Either I’m a curmudgeon, or new, good looking, reasonably priced vehicles are few and far between.

    I’m hoping the Dodge Dart is relatively reasonably priced, as well as reliable, because it has row your own gears, and it actually is pleasant to look at.

  • avatar

    Guess I’m going against the majority ’round here… the only thing that’s kept me from picking up a Veloster was the 138 hp. My time with one at the SF Auto Show and a Hyundai dealership sealed my love for the rest of the vehicle.

    Now, the only thing I’m not too crazy about is the gaping maw up front. Not a deal breaker like the lack of power was, but I could stand for it to look a bit more like the original.

  • avatar

    Holy crap, first car I’ve seen where I’m thinking vacuum cleaner and not car. That grill is just ridiculous.

  • avatar

    My one big complaint with the new Genesis Coupe. What is that bulbous hunk of plastic in the middle of the grill?! Get rid of that, and have a normal grill.

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