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 EcoShift™ dual-clutch transmission.
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.
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.
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 a 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.
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 EcoShift dual-clutch transmission (DCT) developed by Hyundai.
Hyundai’s new EcoShift 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 EcoShift 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 EcoShift 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 EcoShift 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.
The EcoShift DCT also incorporates Hyundai’s Hillstart Assist Control (HAC). HAC is designed to minimize rolling backwards on steep ascents.