Detroit auto show: Hyundai wins plaudits for new coupe
One of the surprising star attractions at the show is the new Hyundai Veloster, a funky new coupe model with a rather odd format of one door on the driver’s side and two on the passenger’s.
Something similar was tried by Mini with its Clubman with limited success, but whereas the Mini has a small rear-hinged door, the Veloster has a proper rear door. It will also produce two different bodies for left and right-hand drive versions, overcoming one of the criticisms of the Clubman in that it left the rear door on the right side for right-hand drive markets, meaning that backseat passengers exited into traffic rather than onto the pavement.
The Veloster’s a very smart little package that was the talking point of many at the show. It’s due for a European arrival at the end of this year following its US launch this summer. Irish buyers can probably expect to see it in November.
Based on the same platform as the current i30 hatchback, the new coupe will also feature Hyundai’s new dual-clutch DSG six-speed automatic gearbox, alongside a more standard six-speed manual. The engine line-up for Europe has not been confirmed but expect both diesel and petrol models to go on sale. The car features a new 1.6-litre petrol engine with either 140bhp or 208bhp. Diesel powertrains have yet to be confirmed. It’s destined to compete with the likes of the VW Scirocco and Renault Megane Coupe, but is expected to have a price advantage over both.
The car also boasts a smart new 7-inch touchscreen system that mixes the usual array of sat-nav and other controls with the ability to load images and music directly on the car’s hard-drive, so the screensaver can be one of your personal photos, while your music can be loaded onto the car even if you don’t have your iPod or MP3 player to hand.