Champion drifter Dai Yoshihara finds out as Run The Coast hits Willow Springs racetrack…
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A little word association. We’ll say ‘Hyundai Veloster’. What do you say? Probably something along the lines of ‘one door one side, two doors the other’.
Now it’s all very well making a car stand out by giving it a USP. But on the other hand, this is meant to be a sporty coupe. You shouldn’t be thinking about doors. You should be thinking about driving. Trouble is, the standard Veloster’s 138bhp is too weedy to get you thinking ‘sporty’.
The answer? The Veloster Turbo. It’s got 186bhp and a handy 195lb ft of torque. It does 0-62 in 8.4 seconds. Which isn’t tyre-shredding. But it’s enough to turn your mind to the road ahead, rather than just congratulating yourself on having bought a car with a five-year warranty.
Compared with the top-spec standard Veloster, this one’s also got tightened-up suspension and steering. A body kit. And a blue cabin trim. Makes a change from the red that everyone else uses to speak of sportiness.
You’re best driving this engine on the torque curve, keeping the revs in the middle of the band. Shift up early. It has direct injection, which is difficult to make work at high revs, and I suspect that’s why the red-line is only 6500. And it doesn’t feel like it wants to go there. Doesn’t sound like it either - things get gruff when you paste it.
The steering is better than the slightly inconsistent set-up of the standard car. But to be honest the springs didn’t need firming - the standard Veloster is OK in corners and gets a bit too jiggly on straights.
Is it a sporty coupe? Ish. You’re still going to have a better time driving a Scirocco or Astra GTC.
But if you happen to have a use for that third side door, then feel free.