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Hyundai has disguised the new Veloster as an art car
Wacky technicolour wrap covers all-new lopsided hot hatch
This, believe it or not, is the new Hyundai Veloster. A car that Top Gear has an unashamed soft spot for, because despite being a bit… limp to drive, it looked mad, had lopsided doors and most importantly of all, showed there was a creative streak lurking behind the worthy crossovers at Hyundai.
Rather than hiding the styling of the new 2018 Veloster under an ugly camouflage wrap, Hyundai’s chosen the opposite tactic: MAXIMUM colour. The retina-assaulting patterns are part-BMW art car, part-accident in a barcode factory, but are we the only ones brave enough to think they ought to appear on Hyundai’s paint options list?
Anyway, the new Veloster. Set to retain its wonky bodyshell (one door on the driver’s side, like a coupe, but two doors on the passenger’s side, like your grandma’s hatchback), the Veloster Mk2 shares its platform with the current i30. Or Elantra as it’s known Stateside.
The really good news is that very platform has already served as the basis for a fabulous hot hatchback. Hyundai’s first N Division performance car, the i30N, is a sensationally fun to drive, well-priced and generally likeable hot hatch, as TG found out when we thrashed one across Europe, then gave it a second test on Britain’s gnarly B-roads. It passed with, er, flying colours.
The new Veloster has already been spied testing with the 271bhp ‘N’ mechanicals in South Korea, emitting fruity parps from its exhaust and wearing purposeful alloys over beefed-up brakes. Just as Audi borrows the VW Golf GTI’s oily bits and slots them in the lower, lighter Audi TT, the i30N could serve as the springboard for an even more focused, stylish-looking Hyundai coupe-hatch thing. With silly doors.
If the clashing colours and promise of Nürburgring-developed pace has you terribly excited, then we apologise. There is a caveat to all of the above. Though you can still buy Velosters in the USA, where the car’s found remarkable success, po-faced, cautious UK buyers unsure about Hyundai’s badge (and the wonky doors, truth be told) never really went for the Veloster, or its quicker Veloster Turbo sister.
As a result, the oddball was kicked out of UK showrooms back in 2015. Nowadays, the craziest-looking Hyundai offered to us Brits is the Kona crossover. Cor, plastic wheelarches.
So, an open plea to the company bosses, which we invite you to echo below in the comments. Hyundai, you’ve proved you can make fun-to-drive cars. You’re trying to establish ‘N’ as a force in the hot hatch sharktank. And having an extra door on one side is still a bonkers USP. Please sell this car in the UK.
And don’t spare the rainbow stickers…