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The next-generation 2018 Hyundai Veloster has been spied testing this week, offering a fresh look at the Korean car maker’s next sports hatch.

Last year, grainy shots out of the company’s homeland delivered the first evidence that a new Veloster was on the way, revealing what is still the clearest view of the new model’s rear end. (Image below courtesy The Korean Car Blog.)

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These new photos, up close and personal, confirm the new Veloster will wear a less polarising design than the current model. The finer details remain obscured, but one thing is clear: the Veloster’s odd three-door configuration will continue.

Those earlier Korean photos revealed an almost arrow-like design to the new Veloster’s sharp and compact tail lamps, but those remain well hidden on this more recently spied prototype.

Up front, the new Veloster will do away with the long hooked headlight design of the current model, picking up slender new eye that build on the look worn by the incoming new i30 hatch.

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A wide six-point grille can be seen pushing against the heavy camouflage, and this will likely build on the latest evolution of Hyundai’s ‘waterfall’ grille design, also seen on the new i30.

The current Veloster’s tapered roofline will continue here, terminating at a low spoiler and a compact rear window, above the sharp LED tail lamps described earlier.

As with the current model, a pair of centre-mounted exhaust tips can be seen on the prototype shown here, and alloy wheels prop up each corner.

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Power in the new Veloster could be provided by Hyundai’s turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine that provides 150kW and 265Nm in the current SR Turbo model and the Elantra SR Turbo sedan.

We could again see a price-leading model along the lines of the naturally aspirated 103kW/167Nm 1.6-litre model offered now, although the car maker might choose to make the new model a more sporting offering all-round.

The real news, however, could be at the top end, where confirmation that Hyundai’s new N division will launch six high-performance sports models by 2019.

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This would surely include a flagship version of the new Veloster, which could see it get the same 2.0-litre engine that is expected to deliver nearly 200kW in the upcoming i30 N hot hatch.

Like the Elantra SR Turbo and the (now absent) Kia Pro_Cee’d GT, an independent rear suspension is also expected to feature for the new Veloster, replacing the torsion beam design of the current model.

Hyundai has yet to confirm a new Veloster is coming, but these photos suggest the little sports hatch is nearing readiness.

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An unveiling at March’s Geneva motor show could be on the cards, although December’s Los Angeles motor show might be the more likely venue, given the Veloster’s roughly 30,000 yearly sales in the US.

In Australia, the front-wheel-drive Veloster has at times been a best-seller in its segment, challenging the Toyota 86 for supremacy. In 2016, it even outsold the 86, 2232 sales to 2068 for Toyota’s rear-wheel-drive coupe.

Watch for more on the new Veloster to come in the months ahead.

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