By on November 29, 2017

2016 Veloster Turbo, Image: Hyundai

If the multitude of spy shots circulating around the internet wasn’t enough of a clue, Hyundai’s making it clear. There will be another Veloster, but you’ll have to wait about six weeks to see it.

The Veloster, an oddball take on the traditional hatchback, debuted in 2011 for the 2012 model year and, despite the declining popularity of traditional passenger cars (and especially coupes), managed to rack up pretty consistent sales since its unveiling. Sporting three side doors of uneven length and two-piece rear glass, the Veloster only really ran into sales trouble this year.

The next Veloster looks to keep the original’s unique profile, but Hyundai’s flagging fortunes requires a hatch hot enough to buoy the brand.

North and south of the 49th parallel, the Veloster’s headiest sales year was its first. 2012 saw 34,862 Velosters roll of Hyundai lots in the Unites States. Last year, the aging model still managed to find 30,053 takers.

In 2017, however, Veloster sales nosedived. In gearing up for the second-gen model, Hyundai took a pass on the 2018 model year, with early reports claiming the company would continue producing the 2017 model through the end of the calendar year. In the U.S., October saw an 83-percent year-over-year sales decline, with volume over the first 10 months of 2017 falling 53 percent compared to 2016.

Unfortunately for Hyundai, overall brand volume has also taken a serious hit this year. Blame the usual suspect: not enough crossovers.

Still, in a world awash with high-riding utility vehicles, it’s nice that a non-SUV, non-sedan persists in the low-priced field. In our most recent review of the Veloster, the model lost marks for its harsh ride quality and balky dual-clutch automatic; however, it won kudos merely for existing. It’s hard finding something “different” at the bottom end of the market these days.

According to Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, the new Veloster will bow in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The report didn’t mention when U.S. customers can expect the new model, but Korean buyers should see it appear in the first quarter of 2018. In that market, there’s two engines on offer — a 1.4 and 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

In the interests of adding a little excitement to a traditionally sensible and value-obsessed brand, American buyers can expect a hot “N” model powered by the turbocharged 2.0-liter found in the Euro-market i30 N. That mill pumps out 271 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It’s likely the base Veloster and midlevel Veloster Turbo models will keep their existing 1.6-liter powerplants.

Transmission choices should include a six-speed manual and seven-speed DCT. Hopefully, the latter unit receives new shift programming.

Fielding a challenger to the Honda Civic Type R, Volkswagen Golf R, and Ford Focus RS should give Hyundai at least some of the attention it’s looking for, though how a hot Hyundai hatch will play with buyers is anyone’s guess. After turning up the thermostat on its Elantra and Elantra GT (via the Veloster Turbo’s 1.6-liter), Hyundai has watched year-over-year sales of the Elantra nameplate fall for the past six months.

At this point, it’s more an issue of slowing the decline.

[Image: Hyundai]

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20 Comments on “Next-generation Hyundai Veloster Coming to Detroit, and Not a Moment Too Soon...”


  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Seriously? This car gets a second gen?

    10 more years of dry heaving when I see one. Great. I like how they made it look more like an insect.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I don’t like anything about these – weird exterior, very cramped interior, and worthy opponents for similar money.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It’s compromised, but not too much: you still get reasonable for people, good space for cargo, benign handling and forgiving operating costs.

    You could (and should) just buy an Accent or Elantra—and given how good they are, that’s likely what’s happening—but the Veloster’s not bad versus a two-door, non-hatchback coupe.

    Side note; the Veloster doesn’t seem to be available on-lease, at least in Canada. I can see that being a big part of the reason.

  • avatar
    brettc

    So they plan to put the i30’s N engine in the Veloster, but aren’t selling the real i30 (Elantra GT) with the N engine? Makes perfect sense to me.

  • avatar
    saturnotaku

    The new Veloster couldn’t possibly be worse than the outgoing one. It’s easily in the top five of worst cars I’ve ever driven, maybe even number one. The base engine was woefully underpowered, the manual transmission sucked, the dual-clutch sucked, and the available panoramic roof was so ungodly huge that it made the car feel top heavy when taking a turn at anything more brisk than a walking pace. The only thing even remotely novel was the rear suicide door, but that had already been done by Mazda (RX-8) and Saturn (Ion) – both of which had one on either side of the car. Pass.

    • 0 avatar
      darex

      I smell a troll! The manual definitely did NOT suck. It was Hyundai’s best one ever, when it came out, with precise engagement, and a nice, ergonomic knob. The “suicide door” is nothing like the RX-8’s or Ion’s, as the Veloster’s is front-hinged, and opens independently.

      • 0 avatar
        saturnotaku

        For the Veloster to be Hyundai’s “best manual” was a bar so low that roaches were doing the limbo. Was it better than an Elantra (a car I stalled more than the Infiniti G35 I learned to drive stick on)? Yes. Better than a Civic, Golf, Impreza, or Focus? Not even close.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Hyundai sells or recently sold more vehicles than the Elantra with a MT.

          For instance my daily driver Sonata.

          And have you driven all the vehicles you mentioned in order to provide an objective comparison?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The MT in the turbo was decent.

      That being said, the Elantra Sport is a good bit better overall and the i30N is tons better.

      Good thing that the new Veloster is sharing much with the Elantra Sport and that the Veloster-N basically taking its underpinnings from the i30N.

  • avatar

    “Fielding a challenger to the Honda Civic Type R, Volkswagen Golf R, and Ford Focus RS should give Hyundai at least some…”

    Wrong form factor, which was always this things problem. Make it a real hot hatch, or do a better Elantra GT or something. This has no performance credibility, and it will never have any.

    I hate the Veloster.

  • avatar
    RaudLuke

    Rowing as a form of exercise. I’d never considered it until I set ass in a Veloster, and yet there I was. It was a functional beast, 1-2-3-4, the whole lot, but it wasn’t seductive. No slick “theck” as each change landed. No gates with the crispness of forged steel or linkages taught enough to give us all the mass delusion that the shifter went directly into the gearbox. Functional, serviceable. We’re Americans. We don’t want functional. Erotically good — the motto of our nation. We want pornography in our machining, or machines.

    Bang the shifter once, blip the throttle, stand on it. The Veloster advances, but it doesn’t accelerate. A turbo fix all? The badge on the back proclaimed it had one. The whistles made the turbo known. But kick the gas this American-sized Korean mandu and you don’t accelerate, you just blur the scenery a bit more.

    It turns. Let’s leave handling at that. I can’t say it’s happy turning. Understeer is never catastrophic, but it’s right next door the whole time. When it thinks you’re distracted, over it comes. The air is heavy with the cheap air-vent fresheners that your local tow company uses.

    The base Veloster has a target market in mind. Hunter, the twenty-three year old millenial, begrudgingly surrendering the Civic to the dark priests of Takata. But to this crowd? You who care about lateral Gs? Worshipers at the altar of torque? The Veloster is as useful to you as on the drag strip. A novelty, something you buy as a joke if you’re the guy with “f*ck you money”. If not? Let that guy buy it, and take a quick test ride. You’ll get all the experience it has to offer. Even if it did fit in the climate-controlled basement, nobody is storing a Veloster for future generations. It’s not a bad car, but at its core the most that one can say is that it’s a car.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Is there going to be some velocity in the Veloster? Just drop the 2.0l turbo with about 275hp, jack the price up $5k and be done with it.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Veloster will be the first Hyundai model in the US to get the “N” treatment; so, yes, it will be getting the 2.0T that is in the i30N along with all the underpinnings.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    When I first saw the Veloster at the NY Auto Show, I was certain it was going to be a force in high school parking lots around the country. But the driving dynamics didn’t live up to the appearance (the turbo helped, a little) and the car never took off. We’ll see if they get the next generation right.

  • avatar
    sixt5cuda

    Now if we could just convince Kia to make their own version, and knock off all the Ugly.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Hopefully, Kia just forgets about a hatch body-style for the Forte replacement and just brings over the new Pro_cee’d.

      • 0 avatar
        sixt5cuda

        I wasn’t aware of the Pro_Cee’d GT until you posted. Another example of Kia designing a great looking car, and Hyundai hitting it with an ugly stick, producing the Veloster.

        Of course, this has been going on since day 1 of the merger.

  • avatar
    KevinC

    What exactly is this “N” treatment? Neutered??

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