THE second generation of Hyundai’s quirky Veloster coupe is being lined up to gain performance to match its looks.
Hyundai has revealed it is readying a more potent version of the three/four-door coupe, possibly utilising the 2.0-litre direct injection turbo engine used across various Kia and Hyundai models.
Wheels has also learnt the new Hyundai Veloster could move to an independent rear suspension system – possibly the one used on the Kia Proceeed GT – to enhance roadholding and dynamics.
Speaking to Wheels at the 2015 New York motor show, Hyundai US boss Dave Zuchowski confirmed the next generation Veloster was being worked on and was “still on our product plan”.
It is expected to break cover in 2016 or 2017.
Zuchowski said a higher performance model was crucial, particularly for the horsepower hungry American market.
The current Veloster is available with an underwhelming 1.6-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that makes 103kW and 166Nm. The turbo version spices things up to a more respectable, Peugeot GTI-rivalling 150kW/265Nm.
“The performance, we would like to see some enhancements in performance,” said Zuchowski, who added the car was popular with younger buyers who craved dynamic designs and the latest technology. “We would like to remain very, very edgy with the design. The centre exhaust we think is very iconic in that car … we think that’s very important.
“For Gen Y, having a wraparound, really, really edgy interior is really important. Technology – absolutely critical in that vehicle.”
Zuchowski said he was also pushing Hyundai’s Korean office to consider the shorter attention span that new car buyers have for sports cars, suggesting it will need more significant updates to keep it fresh in a fickle market segment.
“You need to be prepared to freshen it every two to three years because every vehicle ages really quickly in that segment,” he said.
“Generally we have a four-year cycle with a two-year mid-cycle freshening. It’s more important to have more freshenings on that vehicle.”
Zuchowski said the youth appeal of the Veloster meant it was a “very important vehicle for us”.