2012 Veloster already a success, says Hyundai

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 25, 2011

With all the hype that Hyundai Veloster got, the expectations were high for the unusual four-door hatchback. Unfortunately, the reviews were less than stellar. Nevertheless, Hyundai is claiming that the Veloster is a success, saying that on its first full month of sale, it took the highest percentage of the “compact sporty car” market.

Veloster got 31% of this niche market, surpassing the Scion tC and Fiat 500, which each owned 15% of the market share.

Veloster did even better than the MINI Cooper, which got 29% of the segment. It’s quite amazing that on average, the Veloster only stays 8 days on the dealer lot before it’s sold. In comparison, the next nearest rival is the Scion tC, which is sold within 22 days. Hyundai looked at the Honda CR-Z as one of its fiercest rivals and had even hoped to capture Honda fans who were disappointed with the model.

Notably, the CR-Z takes 139 days to sell. J.D. Power said that the highest percentage of Veloster buyers have already bought Hyundai cars in the past (20%), implying that the car helps keep customers, or that it is taking away the sales of other models.

Chevrolet, Honda and Ford are the most popular conquest brands while the models that are frequently traded in for the Veloster are the Honda Civic and Mazda3. Hyundai asserts that another factor why the Veloster is this successful is the value it offers. It has an average transaction price of $20,902. In comparison, the tC is sold for $21,154, and it’s $21,383 for the CR-Z and $25,950 for the MINI Cooper.

The Hyundai Veloster is a combination of the coupe style and the hatchback functionality. This new Hyundai model incorporates an additional passenger-side door, unlike some coupes which used smaller rear-hinged access doors in the past and are compromised by the inconvenience of having to open the driver-side door before the rear door can be opened and which mechanism proved very difficult to operate in tight parking spaces.

More specifically, the Hyundai Veloster’s new take on rear passenger access involves a conventionally hinged door located at the passenger side, providing safe and ready access to what are actually very spacious rear seats. This passenger-side rear door’s handle is also hidden from plain sight to keep that usual coupe look.

Gamma 1.6-liter Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine

The new Gamma 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is Hyundai’s smallest engine to use Gasoline Direct Injection, or GDI, GDI technology, which helps deliver an estimated highway fuel efficiency of up to 40 mpg, as well as higher reliability and lower emissions.

According to Hyundai American Technical Center Inc. (HATCI) Powertrain Director John Juriga, GDI technology allowed the carmaker’s engineers to come up with an engine that is powerful and offers fuel economy and fewer emissions. He says that despite the engine’s small size, it generates an impressive horsepower output as well as up to 40 mpg on the highway.

Through the GDI technology, the Gamma 1.6-liter engine brings out an estimated peak output of 138 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and also a maximum torque of 123 lb.-ft. at 4,850 rpm.

However, GDI is just a part of the whole story since the new Gamma engine also boasts Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, which is an electronic throttle control, roller timing chain, variable induction, and innovative anti-friction coatings like CrN Physical Vapor Deposition coating and Diamond Like Carbon coating.

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