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  • Unique styling; well-balanced at the limit; solid composure in the wet; good grip, plenty of pace, linear power delivery, strong brakes; loads of kit; practicality, decent ride
  • No dual-clutch transmission option; steering lacks feedback;

OUR RATING
8 / 10



2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test

To any sane onlooker, a Hyundai Veloster tackling a high-speed wet lap of the famously treacherous 21km Nurburgring Nordschleife should make for some very uncomfortable viewing.

This place isn’t known as the “Green Hell” for nothing. You need to be brave, if not downright courageous, to drive flat-out here. And that’s on a dry track.

But with the South Korean maker becoming the latest manufacturer to open a test centre at this famous German circuit that has become the benchmark for dynamic testing, these sorts of fiery baptisms will become commonplace for its new models.

CarAdvice has been given exclusive access to run the gauntlet in the company’s $31,990 Hyundai Veloster Turbo.

This is a hatch that looks like it means business – especially when cloaked in the optional matte black paint that nods convincingly to the car’s serious sporting intentions.

The Turbo’s main attraction, though, is its 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque. And that’s on regular unleaded.

Essentially, it’s the same 1.6-litre as the entry-level Veloster, but with an intercooled twin-scroll turbo and a 9.5:1 compression ratio. The turbo’s wastegate is motor driven to more tightly control the maximum 18psi boost pressure.

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test

Hyundai doesn’t publish performance figures, but unofficial testing of the Veloster Turbo with six-speed manual has recorded times of 6.5 seconds for the benchmark 0-100km/h sprint. Top speed is better than 235km/h.

Here at the Nordschleife we’re testing the optional six-speed automatic with paddleshifters, which adds $2000 to the Turbo’s $31,990 price tag and is claimed to be even quicker than the manual.

In fact, Hyundai admits the Turbo makes too much torque for the double-clutch transmission offered with the base Veloster.

Nestled among the Eifel Mountains in western Germany, the Nurburgring’s 20.8km Nordschleife (Northern Loop) is arguably one of the most difficult and dangerous tracks anywhere in the world

To tackle “Green Hell” in the wet, you need to be a professional racing driver, Ring-experienced or stark raving mad, as there are simply no run-off areas on many of the most treacherous sections.

The tarmac itself is a patchwork of more than 40 different consistencies and surfaces, some of which provide as much traction as an ice rink during downpours.

So in the passenger seat we have Belgian driver Dirk Schoysman providing some worthwhile wet-weather instruction.

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test

Incredibly, Schoysman, along with Ring legends Sabine Schmitz and Walter Rohrl, is one of the few people to have clocked up more than 15,000 laps of the track – as well as three podiums in the annual 24-hour endurance race held here.

But it’s after 5:30pm, meaning we’ll be out there on the Ring with any wannabe racer that fronts-up with 26 euros (the standing price for a lap around here) and a set of wheels. No waiver forms, no instructional videos and no safety briefings. Just punch in the ticket and off you go.

We’ve been in the queue for just 10 minutes and already the recovery truck is hauling back some Armco-bitten wreckage. That happens a lot around here, more so in the wet.

Before long, the boom gate raises and immediately I’ve got the Veloster pinned. There’s little if any delay in the boost and the power delivery is linear.

The front-wheel-drive Veloster feels surprisingly composed from the get-go and there’s good grip from the 215/40 R18 tyres, despite the wet track.

The Turbo also gains a slightly stiffer suspension tune than its naturally aspirated sibling – enough for the car to feel sufficiently planted to dial up more pace. The ride, though, is still decent, even over the pockmarked Karussell.

It’s clear that Schoysman doesn’t do ‘slow’ at the Ring, even in these appalling conditions. We soon hit the fast downhill section from the Flugplatz to Schwedenkreuz as Dirk commands, “Flat out Anthony, don’t lift off, you’ll see the line, don’t worry.”

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test

Trouble is you can’t see the line, at least not in this weather.

But the car feels tremendously predictable, even at 220km/h through this quicker section.

The Veloster’s wide torque band ensures there’s always plenty of low-down punch for fast corner exits, but again it’s the smooth power delivery that counts most.

The uprated 300mm front brakes are taking a proper pounding as we are doubly hard on them coming into corners, but the car’s stopping power is consistent and confidence building.

With complete trust in Dirk’s directions we dive into Fuchsröhre at 230km/h plus, despite the known danger of hydroplaning at the bottom of the hill before the climb up to Adenauer-Forst.

By now I’ve also abandoned the paddleshifters in favour of the auto mode, allowing for greater focus on the crucial wet line. It’s also a blatant attempt at self-preservation, not to mention saving the car from a potential writing-off.

The sheer pace and stability of the Veloster Turbo is truly surprising and within minutes we’ve blitzed a pair of Porsche GT3s, a couple of M3s and a fast-moving Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG that signals us to pass him at a right-hander known as Hohe Acht.

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test

It’s making Schoysman smile like a Cheshire cat.

He calls for us to push the SR Turbo through another full tilt run around the notoriously fast left-hand kink leading up to the tight right-hand corner known as the Bergwerk.

This is the notorious black spot where former F1 driver Niki Lauda had his infamous fiery accident during the 1976 German Grand Prix.

Dirk seems unconcerned. “Stay off the brakes, Anthony,” he shouts, before adding more reticently, “though it can be slippery.”

The Veloster Turbo manages to meet the challenge with impressive steering response and weighting from the electric power steering. The Turbo also benefits from a faster rack, needing just 2.8 turns from lock-to-lock ¬– though it’s not overly communicative.

Sadly, there isn’t much of an engine note. It all sounds a bit gruff and soul-less at the top of the rev range, though better in the mid-range when the boost is on song.

However, the Veloster’s wide stance and relatively modest kerb weight (1305kg) mean there’s very little roll, even at the limit here at the Nordschleife.

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test

Though we didn’t have any electronic timing equipment on board the Veloster Turbo during our four wet laps, we did manage to hit an indicated 238km/h on the main straightaway.

Performance isn’t the Veloster’s only selling point, of course; it also looks great.

Most notable is the SR Turbo’s body kit, which runs to a super-size single mouth grille, spoiler and side skirts. Out back, there’s an intimidating pair of centre-mount exhausts the size of storm drains.

The added cost for the top-shelf Veloster also pays for a host of standard kit from satellite navigation to a 7-inch touchscreen, which it shares with the second-tier $28,990 Veloster Plus.

On paper, the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo could be more fairly described as a warm hatch when compared to the likes of the Golf GTI, Opel Astra OPC and Renault Megane RS265 – all of which have significantly more power and torque.

But the Hyundai stands to prove the measure of a car isn’t always found in its statistics. This is a hatch that delivers a truly rewarding drive with its surprisingly taught balance and composure.

The fact that it can deliver a thrashing to the odd supercar on a slippery Nurburgring is certainly a nice touch, too.


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HYUNDAI VELOSTER BREAKDOWN

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Review: exclusive Nurburgring test
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  • Babi1

    The only thing I didn’t like about the Veloshi is the interior. Full of hollow plastic bits everywhere. Example that big piece of plastic on the door??

  • Homer

    ugly ugly ugly. Hyundai, learn from Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208 GTi. Your styling is “overcooked”.

    • pete

      I really like it…styling is bold and different, even extroverted.

    • Dyllip

      IMO The two you mention are much uglier than the Veloster… If bland is your thing why not put a turbo in a Corolla hatch?

  • JooberJCW

    “The sheer pace and stability of the Veloster Turbo is truly surprising and within minutes we’ve blitzed a pair of Porsche GT3s, a couple of M3s and a fast-moving Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG that signals us to pass him at a right-hander known as Hohe Acht.”

    That paragraph sounds a bit misleading, making it sound this car is faster than all three which it is impossibly not.

    • Roadtard

      Exactly. You blitzed other drivers, not their cars…..

  • Baaron

    so what was the lap time?

  • Jon

    This definitely makes it sound good.
    No, great – especially from Hyundai.
    Hope it is just as good in reliability

  • bobmilo

    Think the white car behind the Veloster in the first picture would decimate it easily ;)

    • JooberJCW

      and those two porsches too :P, not sure what car is that burgundy one though. scirocco?

      • Shak

        Yep, Scirocco.

    • RB7

      No doubt about it! The RS265 won’t be in the rear view for long…

  • marc

    Ugly

  • zahmad

    I’m wondering what that gray/silver car is behind the Veloster in the corner shots….

  • Gus

    ‘no dual clutch’ a negative point? a car that does 0-100 in over 5 seconds and has less than 300hp does not benefit in the slightest with fast shifting dual clutch. who critiqued this car? the CA accountant?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      The standard veloster has a DCT, the turbo doesn’t. It’s a negative.

      • Peter

        What’s the difference between DSG and DCT? I’ve driven DSG and didnt like it but I dont know if I’ve driven DCT

      • Gus

        a dual clutch on any vehicle with such a low power to weight is the manufacturers attempt at a quick cash grab off the cafe cruising posers that buy them. it amazes me that there are some people out there that go to a dealer and say ‘I want tenths of a second shift times in my car that does 0-100 in 8 seconds, heres an extra 3-5 grand, cheers, im awesome’

        • crouchy35

          haha Gus, so true! “I want the fastest shift time possible… just don’t make the ride too rough”

  • ABCDEFG

    We have a kimchi express.

  • Dieseltorque

    I’m glad it has a six speed auto over the dual clutch. As described the dual clutch cannot handle the torque of the turbo motor. These dual clutches do not have a great reputation for reliability and ill take slightly slower gear changes over a jerky dual clutch any day.

    • Guest

      I have a 6 speed DSG in my VW Passat, and there is no hint of “jerky gear changes”. Funny how everyone on these forums knocks the DSG gearboxes, but apparently have very little experience actually using them.

      • Dieseltorque

        Experience driving them, many road tests and reviews is telling your Passat would be a better drive with a ZF 8 speed automatic.

        • Peter

          Yeah, chiming in I’ve got a ZF 6 speed auto (my second) but about 3 years ago test drove the passat cc, I found it to have a truly awful transmission. It wasnt so much jerky, but it seemed to hold gears in limbo so I didnt know whether to accelerated harder to kick it into the next gear or pull my foot off, then it would eventually drop into the next gear. But with stats that it would go from 0 – 100 in 5.5 seconds, I’d have thought it would have been slower than 7 seconds due to the bizarre gear changes. Getting back into my missus volvo 5 speed auto was a pleasure, and the ZF is better still though I dont agree with an 8 speed auto for a sportish car, it just makes for more gear changes with the paddles, not that I’ve tried the 8 speed in the new jags, only in the 2.2 diesel and I didnt try the paddles in that.

  • John

    I wonder how much the author was paid by Hyundai to write this article. Fact is, the Veloster is no much for the proven hot hatches.

    • crouchy35

      If any manufacturers are reading this, I will gladly trade you a positive review for a return trip to the Ring.

      • $29896495

        Ditto

  • $29896495

    Unique looks AKA only a mother could love it or a fan boi. Over done.

    • Peter

      It is a bit darth vadar at the front but I dont mind it. That said, I quite like things being over the top. i dont like the 2 door/one door thing though, it would upset my equilibrium.

      • $29896495

        That would come under one of my main dislikes. Could maybe live with some of the rest (Go blind to it) But the door thing is a big let down. Thank god no DSG what a lame idea to want one.

        • Peter

          Agreed. If DCT is DSG, I hate it with a passion. Drove the 6 cyl passat cc with DSG and I thought it ruined what might have been a decent engine, but how could you tell with that awful transmission?

          • $29896495

            The double clutch thing. I guess that should be DCT. Waste of money.

    • Dyllip

      Looks better than most cars on the market.. Say no to Bland boring common.

  • Wile E

    Gee it blitzed a GT3 ,M3s,a C63…wow what a fantastic little car .
    Now how much did you say that kickback was?

    • tony

      Like the review, says, it’s not always about engine displacement and power – especially at the Nordschleife, and especially in the wet. You also need to know the ‘wet line’, which differs from the dry line – otherwise its too easy to get into catastrophic trouble and end up in the Armco, or worse.

      • Focal

        So if its all about driving ability why mention GT3,M3 C63?
        Deliberately intended to mislead I say

  • bd

    The Kia Pro_cee’d GT is the better handler of the two and the better looker as well (in addition to having the nicer interior).

  • Kimmy

    i Dont LIKE it, ugly ugly ugly, 86 is much better then this..COME on

    • crouchy35

      Correct. If this gets 4 stars then the 86/BRZ must get at least 7

  • Nathan

    Australian Automotive Journalists never providing any actual statistics other than top speed and 0-100. >_<
    I can take this car for a test drive and figure out most of the above.
    100-0 distance?
    Skidpan g's?
    Slalom speed?
    1/4 mile figures?
    Interior room?

  • marc

    The SS in Germany is far superior.

Hyundai Veloster Specs

SR TURBO : 1.6L TURBO MPFI - 6 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTCH - UNLEADED PETROL - 3D COUPE
Car Details
Make
HYUNDAI
Model
VELOSTER
Variant
SR TURBO
Series
FS MY13
Year
2013
Body Type
3D COUPE
Seats
4
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
TURBO MPFI
Engine Size
1.6L
Cylinders
TURBO 4
Max. Torque
265Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
150kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
118.6W/kg
Bore & Stroke
77x85.4mm
Compression Ratio
9.5
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTCH
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.667
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
50
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.4L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1265
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1399mm
Length
4220mm
Width
1790mm
Ground Clearance
143mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.4
Front Rim Size
7.5x18
Rear Rim Size
7.5x18
Front Tyres
215/40 R18
Rear Tyres
215/40 R18
Wheel Base
2650
Front Track
1557
Rear Track
1570
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Standard Features
Comfort
Automatic Air Con / Climate Control, Power front seat Driver
Control & Handling
18 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Hill Holder
Driver
Adjustable Steering Wheel - Tilt & Telescopic, Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering
Exterior
Body Kit, Fog Lights - Front
Interior
Leather Trim
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint, Metallic Paint Special
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
28-H-12
Country of Origin
KOREA