Hyundai showcases the 2012 Veloster sporty coupe and Curb Concept vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show. These are vehicles that Hyundai hopes will be able to appeal to younger buyers. In 2010, the Hyundai brand has gained traction, headlines and a 24% sales gain in 2010 with a product lineup that includes upscale products such as the Genesis sedan and a redesigned Sonata. Hyundai has upscale ambitions and has revealed a new slogan, “New Thinking. New Possibilities.”
Hyundai said that the slogan exemplifies Hyundai's internal goal of offering premium-feeling products at a mainstream price. Hyundai CEO John Krafcik said that targeting the growing segment of younger buyers is still an important goal for Hyundai.
When compared to the brand's overall performance, Krafcik said that until 2010, its penetration in Gen Y had been a “little bit below average.”
In 2010, Hyundai was the No. 6 brand with Gen Y and it was also the No. 6 brand overall so he thinks that it has “kind of stabilized.” Nevertheless, Hyundai sees the potential for “a lot more growth” and is hoping that the Veloster will be successful at taking it further.
Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai's executive vice president of sales, said that Hyundai hopes to sell about 40,000 Velosters annually after the car starts selling this summer.
The new Hyundai Veloster essentially fuses the styling of a coupe and the functionality of a hatchback, but with the extra passenger-side door. Some coupes of the past employed smaller rear-hinged access doors. However, the driver-side door had to be opened first before the rear door could be unlocked – a very inconvenient situation for both the driver and passenger.
Likewise, this configuration made it very difficult to operate in tight parking situations. By employing a conventionally hinged door on the passenger side of the Veloster, Hyundai was able to deliver safe yet convenient access to the rear seats. To main the coupe design of the Veloster, the passenger-side rear door handle is cleverly concealed.
Powering the new Hyundai Veloster is the all-new Gamma 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, which the carmaker’s smallest mill that employs Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI). Thanks to GDI technology, the Veloster is able to consume less fuel (estimated fuel economy of up to 40 mpg highway), lower emissions as well as higher reliability.
John Juriga, powertrain director at Hyundai American Technical Center Inc. (HATCI), remarked that GDI technology allowed the carmaker’s engineers to develop an engine that is both powerful and fuel-efficient, while boasting of fewer emissions. He noted that despite its small size, the all-new Gamma 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is able to deliver impressive output and up to 40 mpg on the highway.
Thanks to GDI, the all-new Gamma 1.6-liter engine could provide 138 hp of max output at 6,300 rpm and 123 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,850 rpm. However, the new Gamma 1.6-liter engine doesn’t just employ GDI, it also makes use of Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, a roller timing chain, variable induction and an electronic throttle control. The engine also employs anti-friction coatings like CrN Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating and Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating.