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Hyundai Hammered by Two New Veloster Recalls

Hatchback problems include faulty parking brakes and shattering sunroofs.

by on Dec.19, 2012

The Hyundai Veloster.

We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of vehicles recalled for safety related problems over the last several years, but it’s nonetheless unusual to see a manufacturer hammered by two separate service actions in one week.

And, in this case, both of the recalls impact the same vehicle, the 2012 Hyundai Veloster.  The more serious of the two involves shattering sunroofs, the second recall focusing on faulty parking brakes.

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The two recalls target about 18,000 vehicles – though, in fact, some of the hatchbacks may be covered by both of the service actions.

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Hyundai Offers Peek at Veloster C3 Roll-Top

Concept could be headed for production, officials hint.

by on Nov.29, 2012

Hyundai is giving serious consideration to producing the roll-top Veloster C3 concept.

Hyundai offered an imaginative open-air reinterpretation of the popular Veloster coupe during a preview at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The C3 convertible 3-door concept vehicle unveiled at the LA show features a dual-function convertible soft top that rolls backwards and forwards – somewhat like the system used on the Fiat 500C – and a tailgate to replace the standard Veloster’s hatchback.

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“We were inspired by the proverb ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss,’” explained Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design North America. “The Veloster C3 Roll Top concept offers the ‘no strings attached’ freedom of a roll top convertible and customizable utility that fits an everyday to a play day dual lifestyle.”

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Hyundai Transforms SEMA-tuned Veloster into Velocity Concept

Poseur no more.

by on Oct.16, 2012

What happens when you pump 400 hp out of a Hyundai Veloster? You get the Velocity Concept.

If there were any significant complaints when the quirky little Hyundai Veloster first hit the road it was a lack of performance – a polite way of saying the original version was slightly slower than a snail.  Hyundai clearly signaled its intent to resolve that problem with a sportier turbo concept it debuted at the annual SEMA aftermarket show last autumn.

For those who think the turbo version still leaves a little lacking, perhaps they might want to check out Hyundai’s newest Veloster-based show car which will make its appearance at the 2012 Specialty Equipment Marketers Assoc. gathering at the Las Vegas Convention Center later this month.

Poseur no more, the Hyundai Velocity Concept is designed to deliver everything possible from the edgy little hatchback – and to let us wonder just whether some of the tricks we’re seeing might eventually land in the showroom.

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The project is a joint venture teaming the Hyundai America Technical Center in Irvine, California – known as HATCI – and the race wizards at Cosworth who provided significant engine upgrades including modified pistons, rods, fuel management and a high-boost, intercooled turbo.  That’s enough to deliver a full 400 horsepower – just a whisker short of twice the stock Veloster Turbo’s 201 hp — and 350 pound-feet of torque from the compact 1.6-liter direct-injected inline-four.

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First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Upping the fun factor.

by on Jun.27, 2012

Hyundai pumps it up with the new Veloster Turbo.

The Hyundai Veloster has been turning heads ever since the South Korean automaker rolled it out last autumn.  If the quirky little hatchback had a downside it was an anemic powertrain that limited its fun factor.

To their credit, Hyundai officials listened to the critiques and responded with unexpected speed, a new Veloster Turbo ready to hit market for the 2013 model-year that is bound to win over even more fans looking for a car that’s both cool and now has ample power to back its ambitions.

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The restless folks at Hyunda Motor America have also tweaked the Veloster’s still fresh exterior design with the turbo version while adding more equipment.  The results should provide some serious competition for more established nameplates in this class such as the Volkswagen GTI, the Honda Civic Si and the Mini Clubman.

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Hyundai Share Could Slip in Face of Vehicle Supply Shortage

Breaking bottlenecks in the search for more product.

by on Jun.22, 2012

Hyundai may be struggling to boost sales but it continues adding new models, including the 2013 Veloster Turbo.

One of the fastest growth spurts in the auto industry could soon come to a screeching halt.

Hyundai’s sales momentum is running into a serious obstacle as the maker slams into severe constraints on production capacity, cautioned U.S. chief executive officer John Krafcik, the maker struggling to free up supplies from Korea and break production bottlenecks at its plant in Alabama.

“This is something you’re going to hear us say over and over again,” he said. “We have about a 32-day supply, which is the lowest industry,” said Krafcik.

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During a preview of three new models, Krafcik notd Hyundai had sold more than 60,000 cars in each of the last three months and is on track to do it again during June. And that despite now having the lowest incentives in the industry.  But sales would have run even higher had dealers had enough inventory, Krafcik warned.

“We’re pretty well tapped out,” he said, warning that the capacity constraints will continue for awhile.

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First Look: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Now, it's the little engine that could.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Hyundai puts the Veloster Turbo on steroids, bumping horsepower up by nearly 50%.

The Hyundai Veloster is certainly a head-turner, but the unusual 3-door coupe that came to market last year was more poseur than powerhouse, with a little engine that couldn’t.  No more.  In a surprisingly rapid response to customer demand, the maker is rolling out a new turbo model for 2013.

Hyundai officials admit they were taken a bit by surprise.  They didn’t think the market would want a truly sporty version of the little Veloster, which features twin doors on the passenger side and a single door on the driver’s side – plus a hatchback.  But the desire for more power became quickly apparent as media and buyers alike raved about the Veloster’s basics but lamented its lack of performance.

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“The Turbo further broadens Veloster’s hero role in the Hyundai line-up to attract our next generation of buyers,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president, product and corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America.

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First Drive: Hyundai Veloster

Quirky little three-door’s fast styling hides fuel sipper underneath.

by on Jan.06, 2012

The Hyundai Veloster looks like a sports car and handles like a sports car, but it sips fuel like an econobox.

Where is it written that fuel efficiency has to mean boring? Why does saving money at the gas station mean conforming to normal? Why can’t a fuel sipper also be fun to drive?

Hyundai’s product planners must have asked themselves those questions. And they decided to say “no” to convention.

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How else to explain this little bit of weirdness that Hyundai calls the Veloster? Even the name is a weird. The guys at the local Salvation Army looked at the back – with its very noticeable Veloster nameplate – and still asked what it was. Velociter? Velociraptor? And it has three doors. Not two doors and a hatch, but three actual doors. More on that later.

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Hyundai ARK Performance Veloster Coming to SEMA

Adding some extra muscle to the new 3-door.

by on Sep.30, 2011

ARK 's Veloster isn't your everyday entry-level coupe.

As regular readers of TheDetroitBureau.com know, we recently gave a generally positive review to the new Hyundai Veloster, an affordable and distinctively styled coupe that replaces such past throw-away offerings as the Tiburon.  If one thing was missing, we noted, it was a bit more muscle.

(Click Here for the review.)

Well, if the Hyundai ARK Performance Veloster is any indication, perhaps the Korean carmaker has been listening.  The prototype, unveiled in these renderings prior to its official launch at the 2011 SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, puts the new 3-door on steroids.

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The one-off pumps up the basic 1.6-liter inline-four engine from a mere 138 horsepower to 210 with the addition of a twin-scroll supercharger.  Other changes ensure that anyone in your path is likely to get out of the way.  The real question is not whether the ARK-tuned Veloster is fast but how fast we might see Hyundai actually put some of its technology into production – rumors persisting despite some denials by the Korean maker that a turbo version of the new Veloster is on its way.

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Sales on a Record Track, Hyundai Looks Forward into the Past

Maker wants to be sure it can maintain momentum before committing to 2nd U.S. assembly plant.

by on Sep.22, 2011

Hyundai CEO John Krafcik.

The purple seats simply had to go.

There was a time when Korean managers thought that whatever would sell in the home market would be fine with U.S. buyers, including an array of funky paint and fabric colors — at least, as long as the price was low enough.  But then Hyundai went into freefall.

Today, U.S. market demands are clearly being taken seriously by Hyundai Motor Co., the maker’s California-based design center playing a serious role in the development of such new vehicles as the quirky 3-door Veloster and i30 – which will soon reach the States as the Elantra Touring.

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If anything, expect the U.S. to gain an even more significant role in making key decisions, suggests Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik, because America has lately become Hyundai’s biggest market, a trend likely to continue as the maker surges from one U.S. sales record to another.

Barring an unforeseen and unlikely setback during the final 100 days of 2011, Hyundai is on a path to nip the 600,000 sales mark, up from a record 540,000 last year.  In fact, the biggest problem the maker seems to have right now is getting enough vehicles to meet U.S. demand, especially for products like the compact Elantra and midsize Sonata.

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First Drive: 2012 Hyundai Veloster

Endearingly asymmetric.

by on Sep.21, 2011

Hyundai's new Veloster goes up against the likes of the Scion tC and the Honda CR-Z

There’s something endearingly odd about the new Hyundai Veloster.  The Korean maker’s latest entry — which some are comparing to the old Honda CRX, others to the Mini Clubman – is an immediate eye-catcher.  But it takes a moment to realize something is just, well, different.

Start with the fact that the 2012 offering has just three doors – okay, four if you count the hatchback – one on the driver’s side and two on the passenger side.  This asymmetric design is meant to give especially easy access to the coupe-like Veloster’s back seat.

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No, it’s not the first three-door we’ve seen.  Saturn was there before, but the rear gangway was a “suicide door” design that also required you to open the front passenger door first.  No such complications for the 2012 Hyundai Veloster, which has a conventional and surprisingly large third door.  But that only underscores the functionality that has been blended with distinctive styling.  If this were an ice cream sundae, the cherry on top would be the Korean offering’s surprisingly affordable price tag, which starts at just $17,300 – plus another $760 in delivery charges.

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