With distinctive styling cues, a more potent engine, revamped sport-spec steering and best-in-class highway fuel economy, the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo rolled into 2012 Detroit Auto Show bristling with attitude. On sale this summer, the Veloster Turbo is Hyundai's counter to vehicles like the Honda Civic Si Coupe, Mini Cooper S Hardtop/Clubman and Volkswagen GTI. According to Mike O'Brien, vice president, product and corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America, this new T-charged variant also is the perfect candidate to "further broaden Veloster's hero role in the Hyundai line-up to attract our next generation of buyers."

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Even at a glance, the turbocharged Veloster leaves no doubt about its enthusiast leanings. Up front, an edgier front fascia includes a bigger grille and unique LED accent lamps for its projector-beam headlamps. More prominently sculpted side sills on this front-drive three-door hatch are set off by unique 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in sticky V-rated 215/40 Kumho Solus tires, while the rear quarters boast distinctive LED taillamps and a custom lower diffuser that swaps the base Veloster's single trapezoidal exhaust outlet for a pair of large round chrome ports. As its final visual exclamation point, the Veloster Turbo will be available in an exclusive Matte Gray paint marking Hyundai's first foray into a non-gloss exterior finish.

Under its hood, the Veloster Turbo packs a new force-fed version of Hyundai's 1.6-liter direct-injected "Gamma" four used in its naturally-aspirated sibling. With its sophisticated twin-scroll turbocharger adding up to 18 psi of boost and an air-to-air intercooler, this more potent motivator makes 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque between 1,750-4,500 revs -- gains of 63 and 72 output units, respectively. Designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline, it gives this primo Veloster best-in-class power to weight ratio. The engine can be backed by either a six-speed manual or a paddle-shiftable six-speed automatic transmission, both with ratio sets specifically tailored to this application. When paired with the former gearbox, Hyundai projects the Veloster Turbo will return 27 mpg in the city and a segment-topping 38 mpg on the highway.

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All basic suspension elements in the new Veloster Turbo are shared with its lesser kin, as are its Vehicle Stability Management Control (VSM) system and four-wheel antilock disc brakes. However, this sportier variation on the theme does get an even quicker ratio and special tuning for its electric power steering system, changes Hyundai says will provide the driver with more precise feedback and better control when cornering.

Inside, the new Veloster Turbo also receives interior enhancements in keeping with its performance character. Highlights include leather-covered heated sport buckets with the word "Turbo" stitched into their backs, a push button starter and an alloy pedal set. Dead ahead, bespoke instrumentation with an exclusive Supervision Cluster located between the speedometer and tachometer uses twin TFT display screens to provide the driver with more direct and interactive info downloads.

On the comfort/convenience side of the equation, it also features an eight-speaker/450-watt Dimension Premium Audio system with XM Satellite Radio and XM Data Services, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, iPod/USB/AUX inputs, a rearview camera and backup warning sensors.

Pricing for the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo is expected to be announced closer to its on-sale date.


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