2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

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Hyundai has announced a set of upgrades for the 2014 Hyundai Veloster . Overall, the Veloster retains its shape with that gaping front grille and the oddball rear profile, but the big news is the addition of a Veloster Turbo R-Spec for next year.

This announcement was made during the on-going 2013 LA Auto Show . Hyundai claims, the "convention-shattering" Veloster adds convenience, performance and safety, making it more desirable than before. Well, its unconventional hatchback design never really struck a chord with our visual senses, but that’s just our opinion.

Since the Veloster Turbo ’s release, we’ve wondered if Hyundai would take advantage of the fast-growing hot-hatchback market in the U.S. and reveal a hotter variant. With the new R-Spec model, Hyundai did just that and then some, but the Korean automaker did not reveal all of its specs just yet.

Click past the jump to read more about the Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

Exterior

Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

The 2014 R-Spec model clearly differentiates it from the rest of the Veloster line, thanks to a red-accented front splitter and side blades and ominous "R-Spec" badging on the rear hatch. Even without these nice updates, the Veloster’s exterior design is plenty sporty, given its sport-bike-influenced body with the front windshield and the blacked-out A-pillars, giving it a helmet visor-like appearance.

In profile view, the Veloster looks sporty, and the fluidic design philosophy is evident. The front of the car is dominated by the large, hexagonal Hyundai Hyundai grille and expressive headlamps. The R-Spec is available in Elite White, Ultra Black, Marathon Blue and Sprint Gray.

Interior

Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

The new Active Sound Design is much like the one found on the BMW M5 . Synthetic engine noise is pumped into the cabin through a set of speakers, adding some theater to the driving experience. The R-Spec model also adds in red leatherette-wrapped sport seats with black cloth inserts. These flashy-red seats tie the interior and exterior together nicely, as they match the red accents on the outside perfectly.

The R-Spec does, however, lose out on a few features from the Turbo variant. Proximity-key entry with push-button start gets the axe, along with the heated leather seats and the driver side auto-up window.

Floor Mat Detail

Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

Drivetrain and Suspension

Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

The 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec gets torque vectoring, which acts much like a limited-slip differential. The system helps cure understeer by selectively braking either of the rear wheels, and it works in conjunction with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) along with wheel speed sensors. This system is also offered on all Turbo versions as a standard feature.

Under the Turbo R-Spec’s hood is a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-pot engine coupled with a six-speed manual transmission aimed at more spirited drivers. There’s no mention of whether the R-Spec model is any more powerful than the base Turbo model, but Hyundai typically leaves the engine untouched in its R-Spec models, so we anticipate seeing the same 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

Where Hyundai’s R-Spec line comes into play is in the braking and suspension systems. The Veloster Turbo R-Spec gains enhanced chassis tuning, a B&M Racing Sport Shifter and sport suspension with higher spring rates. The steering is also revised, making it more responsive on this high performance version.

Price

Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

The 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo range starts at $22,110, including $810 destination charge, but there is no mention of what the R-Spec model will cost.

Competition

Mini Cooper S

Mini Cooper

When it comes to style, there’s no denying the fact that the Mini Cooper S still one of the most desirable sport hatchbacks. Mini revealed the fourth-generation Cooper and Cooper S models recently, and it gets refreshed styling along with much larger proportions than the outgoing model.

Mini has always been a niche product with a premium brand image, and the Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec loses out on this front. The new Mini Cooper S is longer and wider than the previous generation, and it gets a well-executed, uniquely stylish design.

BMW has been successful with making the Mini Cooper S even more fun, thanks to its know-how and expertise in creating some of the best driver’s cars of our time.

Volkswagen GTI

Volkswagen Golf VII GTI

The GTI is likely a better competitor for the Veloster Turbo R-Spec, thanks to its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that puts out 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Like the Mini, however, the VW is a more refined vehicle than the Veloster, but we think it is safe to say that the upgrades that come with the R-Spec package will make the Hyundai a more exciting car to drive, but the VW will still be quicker to 60 mph.

Conclusion

Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

Seeing an R-Spec version of the Veloster Turbo is a welcome sight, given the Turbo version underwhelms a little in overall quickness. Sure the R-Spec package won’t make the Veloster Turbo any faster, but it will make it feel faster because you can enter turns with more speed, thanks to its tweaked chassis and suspension system.

LOVE IT
  • Finally an R-Spec that isn’t a Genesis
  • The suspension tweaks should make it handle the twist with authority
  • The red accents and updated interior are all welcome sights
LEAVE IT
  • Pumping sound into the cabin still seems odd to us
  • We wish there were some engine upgrades
  • The Veloster Turbo was sluggish to 60 mph for its class, and the R-Spec will perform the same way to 60 mph
  • Cannot compete with the Focus ST’s speed and agility

Hyundai today announced the addition of the Veloster Turbo R-Spec to its line-up at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The heart of the R-Spec is the responsive, aftermarket-tunable 1.6-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged engine, along with unique design cues, enhanced chassis tuning, a B&M Racing® Sport Shifter, and the lowest price point in the Veloster Turbo lineup. R-Spec production will begin in December 2013 with availability in early February 2014.

Veloster Turbo R-Spec is the fourth R-Spec model in Hyundai’s lineup, following in the footsteps of Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec, Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec and Genesis 5.0 R-Spec. R-Spec represents the ultimate performance version of each of these models. For Veloster Turbo R-Spec, sport suspension and steering settings have been retuned for optimum responsiveness, with higher spring rates and a more rigid transmission mount. On the powertrain side, R-Spec is available only with the 6-speed manual transmission, and a short-throw B&M Sport Shifter has been added for a tighter, more direct shift feel.

2014 Veloster Turbo R-Spec Highlights

Unique R-Spec suspension and steering tuning for enhanced agility and feel
6-speed close-ratio manual transmission with new shift knob design
Short-throw B&M Racing® Sport Shifter for a tighter, high-precision shift feel
Red exterior accents on front splitter and side blades (optional; later availability)
Red leatherette bolsters with red/black cloth insert sport seats (in lieu of standard leather on other Veloster Turbo models)

R-Spec embroidered-logo floor mats and R-Spec exterior badging
Lowest MSRP Veloster Turbo model: $22,110, including $810 destination charge

“We’re thrilled to add the Veloster Turbo R-Spec to our growing family of enthusiast-oriented R-Spec models”, said Scott Margason, director, product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “The R-Spec takes the Veloster theme of affordable performance to an entirely new level that is sure to appeal to driving enthusiasts.”

On the exterior, R-Spec adds a sporty red-accented front splitter and side blades, with R-Spec badging on the rear hatch. Inside, red leatherette bolsters with red/black cloth insert sport seats complement special embroidered-logo R-Spec floor mats for a sporty ambience. Veloster Turbo R-Spec will be available in four colors: Elite White, Ultra Black, Marathon Blue, and exclusively for 2014 Veloster, Sprint Gray.

In keeping with its purist driving focus, some standard equipment from the Turbo model has been deleted from the R-Spec, such as proximity-key entry with push-button start, premium gauge cluster, side-repeater mirrors, driver’s auto-up window, high-gloss interior cues and full-faced heated leather seats.

Adding to the focused driving experience for all 2014 Veloster Turbo R-Spec and Turbo models is Torque Vectoring Control (TVC). This active cornering feature, utilizing capabilities from the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and powertrain control systems, improves dynamic cornering during more enthusiastic driving. TVC uses wheel-speed sensors coupled with ESC algorithms to apply precise braking force to the inside front wheel during spirited cornering. This active braking redirects power to the outside front wheel in the turn, reducing wheelspin, for enhanced cornering grip and corner-exit acceleration. Overall, TVC provides Veloster Turbo R-Spec drivers with an incremental margin of cornering precision during enthusiastic driving.

Inside the cabin, 2014 Veloster Turbo R-Spec and Turbo models receive Active Sound Design (later availability), which provides richer in-cabin powertrain resonance for an even more involving driving experience, especially during spirited driving.


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