2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec
In 2012, Hyundai officially entered the hot-hatch segment in the U.S. with the release of the Veloster. Unfortunately, its performance was lackluster to say the least, but the release of the Turbo model in 2014 made up for some of that. The Turbo got a lighter, cheaper, and more track-tuned sibling in the form of the Turbo R-Spec. For the 2016 model year, the entire Veloster lineup receives a light refresh, including the R-Spec model.
This refresh is by no means one that I would call comprehensive, but it does give the R-Spec a little more character. What the public is really craving from the Veloster lineup is a sub-seven-second model that can compete with the likes of the Fiesta ST and Volkswagen GTI. But you can keep on dreaming though, as the 2016 Veloster R-Spec continues on with all the same greasy bits.
That said, does the Hyundai hot-hatch have a place in the market?
Click past the jump to read my full review and find out.
Updated 02/13/2015: We’ve added a series of images taken during the R-Spec’s official debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec
Horsepower @ RPM:201 @ 6000
Torque @ RPM:195 @ 1750
0-60 time:7.5 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)
On the outside, the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec features many of the same modifications as the rest of the Veloster line, including a larger and bolder hexagonal grille up front. Also included in the updates are new ground effects, an updated rear bumper, and new diffuser vents. Additionally, giving the model a striking look at nighttime is an LED signature that includes eight individual diodes.
Setting the Turbo R-Spec apart from other Velosters is R-Spec badging on the rear hatch. Sure, it’s not much, but it’s something. It also gets a sharp red underline for good measure.
As for available colors, Hyundai has kept things very simple. The 2016 Veloster Turbo R-Spec is available in just three colors: Elite White, Ultra Black and Pacific Blue.
While I still think the Turbo R-Spec is an awesome little hatch, I think there could be a lot more done to set the R-Spec apart. I guess Hyundai decided to go the low-key route. I can respect that. Well, not really.
|Overall length||167.3 Inches|
|Overall width||71.1 Inches|
|Overall height||55.1 Inches|
|Tread width 18-inch||60.9 / 61.4 Inches|
|Minimum Ground Clearance||5.9|
|Coefficient of Drag||0.33|
Inside the cabin, the Turbo R-Spec gets only one modification for the new model year: red seat belts. Otherwise, the cabin carries over with its red leatherette bolsters and red-and-black cloth seat inserts, and R-Spec-embroidered floor mats. There are also red accents on the armrests
Other than those few bits of R-Spec goodness, this model is sorely lacking any flair on the inside. While I understand the “sleeper” look on the outside, I don’t understand why the interior is so timid.
37.2 in. / 35.3 in.
43.9 in. / 31.7 in.
Shoulder room (front/rear)
55.6 in. / 54.0 in.
Hip room (front/rear)
53.2 in. / 52.6 in.
|Headroom (front/rear)||37.2 in. / 35.3 in.|
|Legroom (front/rear)||43.9 in. / 31.7 in.|
|Shoulder room (front/rear)||55.6 in. / 54.0 in.|
|Hip room (front/rear)||53.2 in. / 52.6 in.|
Under the Veloster Turbo R-Spec’s hood is the 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that produces a decent 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 pound-feet of torque from 1,750 rpm. This engine mates exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission with a short-throw B&M Racing shifter. Unfortunately, the Turbo model’s dual-clutch goodness isn’t an option on the R-Spec.
In the 2015 model, this drivetrain combination netted the Veloster Turbo a 0-to-60 time in the high-seven-second range, so I would expect the R-Spec to do about the same. That’s pretty subpar performance for what’s classified as a hot-hatch, but I think Hyundai is still trying to figure out this segment, so I’ll wait. For a while.
|Type||Twin-scroll Turbocharger, Gamma DOHC D-CVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing) GDI (Gasoline Direct Engine)|
|Materials||Aluminum block and head|
|Displacement||1.6L / 1,591 cc|
|Horsepower (est.)||201 HP @ 6,000 RPM|
|Torque (est.)||195 LB-FT @ 1,750 - 4,500 RPM|
|Valves per cylinder||4|
|Bore & stroke||77.0 X 85.4 (mm)|
|Fuel economy||25 mpg/33 mpg/28 mpg|
Since the Turbo R-Spec isn’t close to hitting dealers yet, pricing is still a wildcard. Given there were no real cost-increasing updates, I assume that we’ll only see a mild inflationary price increase. In 2015, the Veloster R-Spec based at $21,600, and I wouldn’t expect to see the 2016 model to start any higher than $22,100.
The Golf GTI is a special piece of hot-hatch goodness, perhaps even more so than its wicked brother, the R. The GTI rolls into this competition boasting German build quality and Autobahn testing, so the Veloster R-Spec can do nothing but sit back and take notes as to how the GTI does what it does so damn well.
Thanks to its 2.0-liter TSI engine that pushes out 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the Golf GTI can hit 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. On top of that, it has the option of going with the traditional manual or the DSG dual-clutch gearbox.
Where the Golf GTI loses a little steam is in the pricing department, as it starts out at a significantly higher $24,785. While that is still a great bargain, it is a hefty hike over the Veloster R-Spec.
The Fiesta ST is a new addition to this ever-growing realm, and it delivers one serious wallop for such a tiny car. Its 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine produces 197 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque through a six-cog manual gearbox.
If you can keep the steering wheel pointed straight, you can eclipse 60 mph in the low-seven-second range.
On top of being quicker than the Veloster, the Fiesta ST is a good bit cheaper, at $20,945. So if you were shopping for the Veloster, you could snag up the Fiesta ST, then use the leftover cash to bump up the power even more.
I love that Hyundai is starting to make its way into the hot-hatch segment, but the Veloster and its Turbo R-Spec are just not there quite yet. Sure, the R-Spec is quick for your everyday hatchback, but it is priced along with some studs in the segment. In a few years, I can see Hyundai milking about 220 horses from that 1.6-liter and really competing, but until then the Veloster Turbo R-Spec is nothing but a really cool name.