Written by: Adil Arif
Photography by: Adil Arif
When designing a new model, manufacturers have to keep in mind their target audience, minimize costs, overtake the competition, and above all return a profit. Successfully accomplishing this requires adhering to a strict budget, but sometimes designers and engineers get the green light from the accountants to build something just a little more special, a one-off or a limited edition. They’re told to design something exclusive, restrict the volume of production, and to use the creativity from the left side of their brain. It’s a club that can create a whole following unto its own, and the new Hyundai Veloster is eager to join.
Step into the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Rally Edition, a 1,200 unit exclusive decked out with matte blue paint, lightweight Rays wheels, faux carbon fiber aero bits and a track ready suspension. The interior is also equally unique with black and blue leather seats, “Turbo” etched on the side bolsters and Veloster Rally Edition embossed floor mats. That’s a healthy dose of differentiation from the regular spec Veloster and starting at just $26,999, we're here to find out if it performs as good as it looks.
The Rally Edition is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged direct injected four cylinder pumping out 201 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque - the same engine found on all Veloster Turbo models (a naturally aspirated 1.6 liter version is also available on the base Veloster). Out on the open road it’s not as quick as the recently tested Ford Focus ST, nor as obnoxious as the Fiat 500 Abarth, but it’s still quick enough to make you smile on your favorite back road. Personally I think it sits right in the middle of the Goldilocks table – not too powerful but not underpowered - a good balance for every day driving.
The clutch is light and grabs quick. And this engine really loves to rev. At low RPMs the exhaust is tame and quiet but once the needle swings past 3,500 RPM, there is enough induction and intake noise that it kept me wanting more. The B&M exclusive short shifter helped nail shifts precisely every time with just a flick of the wrist. Rowing up and down the gears was an enjoyable experience and the eight ball type shift knob had a good weight and feel to it. Under hard driving the seats were very good and hugged comfortably – they actually reminded me a lot of the Recaros found on the Focus ST, a definite compliment.
The party trick with the Veloster is its three-door hatchback guise – I always found that to be quite an oddball design. What I mean by this is that the driver’s side of the vehicle has one door, but hop over to the passenger’s side of the vehicle and you’ll notice two doors – one cleverly hidden within the body lines. It’s not a suicide type door as found on the Mazda RX-8, but a proper full-size rear door on just one side of the car. Strange right? Perhaps unique? Why couldn’t they just add an extra door and make it a tiny four-door hatch?
Once you do get into the rear seat however it’s surprisingly roomy and comfortable. The hatchback glass extends and runs into the roofline giving an airy feeling to rear passengers. One of the great benefits of a hatchback is the abundance of trunk space available, and the Veloster’s trunk would give a few CUV’s a run for their money.
After a week’s worth of zipping through our favourite back roads, sitting in traffic and cruising to the suburbs, we averaged 11.0 L/100km. Hyundai rates the Veloster Rally Edition at a combined 8.3 L/100km, which could easily be attainable if you plan on staying out of boost for the majority of your drives. And despite being fitted with a turbo, Hyundai recommends the use of regular 87-octane fuel - no premium is needed here.
It’s hard to find any real faults with this car. Sure it doesn’t have GPS or a limited slip differential or a raucous exhaust, but starting at just $26,999 (before any fees or taxes) with a bag load of goodies, how can you knock it? You get a nice coat of matte blue paint, blacked out lightweight Rays wheels, matching black and blue interior, a usable back seat (minus the funky door) and a large boot to throw your suitcase in and go cross country. It uses regular gas, has heated seats, Bluetooth with a good sounding stereo, and drives excellent compared to others at this price point.
As I test more and more vehicles in this segment I can’t help but feel impressed at how manufacturers can afford to pack so much performance and value at such an affordable price point. Hyundai has come a very long way and if you’ve read our reviews on other models, they’re a brand full of value and have earned our respect. Although the 2016 Veloster Rally Edition isn’t an all-out bonkers version, it stays true to Hyundai’s vision – to provide fun vehicles at a reasonable price, the H-factor as they coin it. So if you’re in the market for a hatchback with some nice tuner bit uniqueness, you may want to check out this limited production version before the club closes its doors.
型号 Model: 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally Edition
顏色 Paint Type: Matte Blue
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $26,999
試車售價 Price as Tested: $26,999
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,650
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,250 / 1,805 / 1,405
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,305
引擎 Engine: 1.6L DOHC 16-valve twin-scroll turbo inline-four
最大馬力 Horsepower: 201 hp @ 6,000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 195 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed manual
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, FWD
前懸 Suspension-Front: MacPherson strut with upgraded coil spring
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Couple torsion beam axle
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: 300 mm ventilated disc
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: 262 mm solid disc
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 9.4 / 7.0 / 8.3
輪胎尺碼 Tires: P225/40R18; Rays lightweight alloy wheels