Hyundai Motor Company Australia is hoping the addition of the all-new Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo will lift monthly sales of the niche Veloster range from an average of 370 units per month to around 500 cars.
Hyundai only launched the naturally aspirated Veloster in February this year and has already sold 2220 units of the head-turning three-door coupe and captured 24 per cent of the sports car market in Australia in the process.
The top-of-the-range Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo is a significantly more powerful version than the standard Veloster with its 1.6-litre four-cylinder twin-scroll turbo petrol engine delivering 150kw (up 47kW) and 265Nm (up 99Nm).
As a percentage those numbers represent 46 per cent more power and a whopping 60 per cent more torque over the standard Veloster.
It’s all about the extra performance with the all-new Veloster SR Turbo and although Hyundai doesn’t provide official data in the car’s official specifications, local testing has recorded 0-100 sprint times of 6.9 seconds – for the automatic.
But there’s also a substantial premium to be paid for this additional turbo weaponry with the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo starting from $31,990 (before on-road costs) against the entry-level Veloster, which kicks off at $23,990 before on-road costs.
So, given the Veloster+ already comes loaded with a raft of standard equipment including a 7-inch LCD touch screen with satellite navigation and reversing camera, LED daytime running lights and panormamic glass roof with electric blind to name but a few, what do you actually get for your money with the Veloster SR Turbo besides forced induction and faster sprint times?
Visually, the Veloster SR Turbo is a lot more potent than its naturally aspirated siblings.
The obvious giveaway is the enormous open front grille with a black finish and special air-duct that feeds cool air onto the clearly visible intercooler. You’ll also notice the deeper front bumper with large round fog lamps and the detailed side skirts.
But for that unmistakable ‘tuner look’ there’s a proper rear diffuser under the integrated and oversize twin chrome exhaust tips that make the brashest statement about this car’s performance intentions.
Inside, the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo is just as loud as car’s unique exterior styling although, it’s pretty much as you would find in the Veloster+ model, but for a few key exceptions.
Most notable are the excellent sports bucket seats up front, which are more heavily bolstered than those fitted in the standard Veloster variants and include the word ‘Turbo’ embroided on the seat backs.
Gone, are the brushed metal accents throughout the dash, door trim and steering wheel, which have been replaced by a dark coloured accents, providing a sportier look.
The Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo also picks up unique 18-inch alloy wheels with chrome inserts, but shod with the same 215/40 series tyres fitted to all Veloster models.
Also exclusive to Veloster SR Turbo is a colour palette consisting of six exterior paint colours including Phantom black, Veloster red, Storm trooper, Battle ship, Young gun and Marmalade.
The later two, are extra-special paint colours; Young gun is a jaw-dropping matte grey finish that must be hand-washed only and Marmalade is a chameleon colour that changes hue when viewed from different angles but will only be available for a six-month period.
Any gripes about the Veloster not living up to its ‘in your face’ styling have been well and truly answered with the launch of the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo.
The combination of direct-injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger have all but eliminated any threats of turbo lag.
Punch the throttle from almost any position in the rev range and the Veloster SR Turbo pulls hard – and it keeps on pulling through to 4500rpm.
There’s no sensation of turbo boost either, it’s a thoroughly linear power curve and an even flatter torque curve, so it feels somewhat like a naturally aspirated hot hatch much of the time.
The handling, too, it also well sorted on the Veloster SR Turbo.
Hyundai engineers have gone to great lengths to specifically tune the car for local conditions using high-performance Sachs dampers – with rebound springs for better responsiveness.
The result is a proper performance hatch that enjoys being thrown into twisty bends with utmost confidence, while at the same time, providing a supple ride over varying road conditions.
They’ve also tuned the all-electric power-assisted steering, which gets a quicker 13.9 ratio steering rack, which allows the Veloster SR Turbo to fully exploit windy roads.
There’s negligible body roll too. The Veloster SR Turbo displays excellent composure and body control, even during high-speed cornering work.
The drive route on the Veloster SR Turbo launch included a broad range of road conditions including our fair share of poorly maintained rural roads, but the Veloster’s suspension revealed a mostly supple ride even when carrying the maximum legal speed across the most uneven of surfaces.
The Veloster SR Turbo also gains an uprated brake package that includes larger and wider front discs by 300mm and 5mm, respectively.
There’s a solid feel to these brakes, and even after constant heavy use in the downhill twisty sections, pedal feel remained strong and confidence inspiring.
We tried the both the six-speed manual and six-speed automatic versions and both boxes pair well with the Veloster SR Turbo's 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and each as enjoyable as the other.
The manual version is accompanied by a lightweight clutch that’s easy on your left foot and along with the accelerator pedal, is perfectly positioned for heel and toe downshifts. It’s a close ratio box with a stubby shifter allowing for quick gear changes up and down the ratio range.
There's no denying the Veloster SR Turbo in manual guise is loads of fun, but this reviewer favours Hyundai’s traditional automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
It’s both a smooth and quick-shifting automatic that feels perfectly geared to engine’s output. The extra torque from the twin-scroll turbo eliminates any nasty kick downs, as there’s always plenty of punch in the higher gears when needed.
If we had any grumbles it would be the lack of a properly sporty engine note from the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo. While it’s not devoid of an exhaust note altogether, it’s just not as scintillating as the rest of the car.
The Veloster’s conventionally hinged rear door on the kerb-side and ample rear legroom makes the Hyundai kid-friendly, especially for the school drop-off and pick-up routine. Anyone over the height of 173cm (5’8”) though, will struggle with rear headroom due to the Veloster’s ultra-low roofline.
There’s also a full suite of active and passive safety kit on board the five-star ANCAP rated Veloster SR Turbo including six airbags, electronic stability control with traction control, Hyundai’s vehicle stability management system, anti-locking brake system with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist.
The Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo is plenty quick. It also handles well, rides well and steers well. In short, there isn’t much that it doesn’t do well and should have no trouble finding plenty of willing customers.