There have been several teasers released of Hyundai’s unconventional Veloster three-door coupe. And at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, the production-ready form was displayed. But apparently, there will be a rally-going version as hinted at by another teaser. The car is shown to be in mid-flight, displaying its rear suspension and some Red Bull Racing livery.
It’s rumored that the Veloster is for track-duty but as it’s clear that it has some serious under-body protection, it’s more likely to hit the off-road gravelly tracks. Hyundai has yet to provide details but it has promised to do so soon during a press conference for the Chicago Auto Show.
The full info is expected to be revealed on February 9. With this production version, Hyundai doesn’t only seek to reinvent the appearance of a sports hatchback with its Clubman-like three-door design. The carmaker also wants to launch new technologies, including a brand new engine and transmission.
Its styling seems to be soft at the front but the Veloster is equipped with standard 17-inch wheels covered in 215/45-series all-season tires.
Offered as optional are two sets of 18-inch alloy wheels, housed in 215/40-series performance tires. It’s unclear what will power the rally car but the standard Veloster is powered by Hyundai's all-new 1.6-liter Gamma inline-four, which has an output of 138hp at 6,300 rpm and 123 pound-feet (166 Nm) of torque at 4,850 rpm.
Mike O’Brien, vice president for Product and Corporate Planning at Hyundai Motor America, quipped that Veloster should be perfectly suitable for the X Games and the US Rallycross Championship series, describing the 2012 version of the rally car as a playful, fun to drive car. He thanked Rhys Millen and his team for making it possible to introduce the Hyundai Veloster rally car to racing fans before its official launch this summer.
He noted that he and Rod Millen, Rhys’ father, collaborated nearly 20 years ago for the carmaker’s Pikes Peak rally program. Millen, who is also a professional race driver as well as founder of RMR, remarked that the Veloster Concept inspired him to expand Hyundai’s motorsports program to rallying.
He quipped that RMR had the lightweight Veloster evolve into a rally car powered by an engine capable of delivering 500-hp of output and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. He noted that knowledge and experience gained from the Veloster rallycross program would play vital roles in the development of future Veloster models. In developing the chassis for the Veloster rally car, 12 of RMR’s workers poured their expertise in fabricating racecars.
They stripped a production Veloster to its bare metal and bathed its chassis in Alkaline for five days while removing all rubber and adhesives. Moreover, these RMR specialists stitch welded the chassis to make the structure more rigid. The Veloster, as it is, is already a lightweight car, but Millen managed to make it even lighter. To achieve this, RMR replicated Veloster’s body panels and created versions from carbon/Kevlar.
Moreover, the hood, doors and quarter panels as well as the front fascia and rear fascia of the rally car are made of carbon/Kevlar. Since these carbon/Kevlar panels are around 75 percent lighter than sheet metal, they make the Veloster rally car a lot lighter without having to compromise its curves and surface detail. Overall curb weight is 2,656 pounds. Thanks to a custom RMR rear wing, downforce has been boosted while the vented hood helps dissipate heat.