Hyundai Veloster: How cool is this?

Veloster: a three-door coupe.

Pricing for Hyundai’s new 2012 Veloster three-door coupe starts at $18,060 for the entry-level model with six-speed manual transmission and ranges to $19,310 with the six-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission. Cars are rolling into dealerships now.

 Both models are powered by a 138-horsepower, direct-injection, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that gets EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 28 mpg city and 40 mpg with the manual transmission and 29/38 with the dual clutch.

 The Veloster with manual transmission weighs 2,584 pounds, which is lighter than the Mini Copper S and Scion tC, Hyundai said in a release.

 The body style is a hatchback with a passenger side rear door that has a concealed door handle. (It’s a true door, not a so-called access panel). Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, remote locking, power windows-locks-mirrors, air conditioning and cruise control.

 Other standard extras include Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system for voice-activated controls, Pandora Internet radio, seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth hands-free phone connection, video game console connectivity with 115-volt power outlet.

 The Blue Link service comes with a free six month service and includes Automatic Collision Notification and Assistance, SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Monthly Vehicle Report. Other services, with other subscription rates, include voice text messaging, remote unlock or locking, remote vehicle start, stolen vehicle slowdown, curfew alert, turn-by-turn navigation, gas station locations and more.

 Options include:

  • Six-speed EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission with paddle shifters, Hillstart Assist Control, and Active ECO System ($1,250 MSRP)
  • Style Package ($2,000), includes 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome grille surround with piano black highlights, fog lights, panoramic sunroof, piano black interior accents, eight-speaker Dimension audio system with external amp and subwoofer, leatherette bolster seats and door inserts, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, alloy pedals.
  • Tech Package: ($2,000; requires Style package), includes unique 18-inch alloys with painted inserts, backup warning sensors, vavigation system with rearview camera, automatic headlights, proximity key entry with push-button start, 115-volt outlet

 SPECIFICATIONS
2012 Hyundai Veloster
Body style: compact, 3-door hatchback
Engine: 138-horsepower, direct-injection, 1.6-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch with paddle shifters
Fuel economy: 28 mpg city, 40 hwy (29/38 with dual-clutch); 87 octane recommended
Length/wheelbase: 166.1/104.3 in.
Front head/leg/shoulder room: 39/43.9/55.6 in.
Curb weight: 2,584 to 2,657 lbs.
Cargo space: 15.5 cu. ft.
Turning circle: 34.1 ft.
Safety features: 6 air bags, stability and traction controls, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake-force distribution
Base pricing: $18,060 to $19,310
Warranty
: 5-years/60,000-miles bumper-to-bumper, 10-years/100,000-miles powertrain coverage, 5-years of free roadside assistance and the Hyundai Trade-in Value Guarantee.

About Mark Maynard

Mark Maynard has been the automotive editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune since 1992.

He drives nearly 200 vehicles a year for review, has attended several high-performance driving schools and a few off-road driving courses.

He attends many new-vehicle press introductions and schmoozes with auto-industry execs.

Mark Maynard