Tuesday, October 22, 2019


When Hyundai rolled the original Veloster onto the road in 2011 there were plenty of questions from automobile journalists and enthusiasts alike:



Who wants one?

Well, the answers are in, and there is now a second-generation Veloster as proof that the original concept worked as planned.

That plan was to create a car that was both a hatchback and a coupe, appealing to people who want their pastries and a meal, with a most unusual idea.

The idea was one door for the driver and two for the passengers. On opposite sides of the car.

The three-door concept has survived, and thrived, and is the basis for what now amounts to an i30 hatchback for people who have around $30,000 to splash on something a bit different, or more like $40,000 with some turbo urgency.

Me? I’m still not convinced.

Redlined at 6500; slick six-speed manual; stylish coupe profile, and Speed Pilot high performance tyres, but this ain’t no sportscar.
The new Veloster doesn’t go particularly well, it is woolly in the steering and a bit bumpy in the suspension, and it’s definitely not as good as the i30 N performance car.

But I’m not the target buyer? Who is?

Apparently it’s yummy mummies, and inner-city escapees who want something that can do double duty as a practical hatch while also flashing its coupe side.

With that in mind, and my 10-year-old Eli along for the ride, I took another look.

The addition of a youngster or two is all it takes to transform the Veloster, as the passenger-side access to the rear seat is brilliant - ending the horrible contortions and seat folding needed with almost every coupe - and there is still plenty of boot space.

The cabin also looks like it suggests 'sportiness', but like the exterior styling, it's all just for looks.

It’s never going to be a car for the masses, nor the true sports car aficionado, and I hope that one day there will be a Veloster N to give the car some proper sports car credentials, but it looks good and it’s priced well and it makes more sense for families with youngsters than a Toyota 86, or my selfish favourite, the two-seat-only Mazda MX-5.

Of course the REALLY VITAL information you are seeking is “Where does the name come from?”

As there is no official explanation coming from Hyundai we turned to, wait for it, the Australian Veloster Owners’ Forum for some thoughts on the subject. I think they have pretty much arrived at the same conclusion I did:

(1) I think it's Korean for “all show not much go”

(2) Hyundai designers used a motocycle for styling cues. A motorcycle is a "bike". A VELOcipede is a 3-wheeled bike. A VELOdrome is a venue for bike racing. They also wanted the essence of a roadSTER...

(3)The truth is that while they were secretly trying out the prototype on a German autobahn, the car was going sooooo fast that the German Polizei decided to give chase. When they finally lost sight, one Polizist apparently said to the other... “Franz,... I think....ve lost 'er”.

(4) I have read and heard the same thing numerous times.
Not that it makes any sense... It's short on velocity, and is not a roadster.

(5) I still haven't figured out what a Camry is, let alone a Veloster

(6) Camry...car name or secret Japanese plot for world domination?

(7) velo= latin for "swift, speedy, rapid"
ster= Korean for "not, no way, in your dreams".


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