Hyundai Veloster Turbo Coupe + i30N Fastback Performance Luxury - Toybox

By: Mark Higgins, Photography by: Hyundai

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Collectible Hyundais? This pair could be the future Korean classics

Here at Unique Cars we are sometimes surprised when less obvious cars pop up on the collectible or and classic radar. Think Mitsubishi Sigma (sorry GT), XC Falcon 500, Ford Cortina, Holden Gemini to name just a few.

But despite being here since 1986, Hyundai and the words collectible or classic have never been uttered in the same sentence. But is that about to change with these two sporty offerings from the South Korean brand?

In recent times Hyundai’s sales have surged and it’s one of the biggest sellers in Australia, overtaking many of its Japanese rivals.

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The first cab off the rank is the Veloster sports coupe that has been with us for some time now. It sure caused a stir when it was launched for its quirky or innovative two-doors on one side and one on the other layout. Right hand drives get two on the left and one on the right and in the case of left hookers, the opposite applies.

While the lack of a door behind the driver turned out to be inconsequential, it was fun watching passengers trying to figure out where the handle was hidden.

| Hyundai Veloster SR review (2012)

Unique door layout aside, the Veloster proved to be a fun thing to punt around for a week. The 1.6-litre turbo mated to a six-speed manual gearbox proving itself equally adept at trudging through Melbourne’s endless traffic jams and carving curves through the Yarra ranges.

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Driveability has been improved in this second gen model and the interior, though still tight is roomier than its predecessor, but rear headroom remains an issue. Legroom is okay though. As you’d expect the latest active safety, driver assist features and entertainment tech have been added to this new model.

The engine is the same as found in the Hyundai i30 N-Line and it feels unassuming when plodding along but give the right pedal a bit of a workover and all its 150 kilowatts and 265 newton metres of torque provide plenty of driving entertainment.

Front end grip is excellent, no doubt helped by the Australian sorting and tuning of the chassis and suspension, the torque vectoring control as well as the Michelin 225/40 ZR18 boots fitted.

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There is a touch of torque steer present at full throttle with full boost under hard acceleration but virtually no understeer, unlike some of its front-drive rivals. All in all, the Veloster is very capable and damn good fun to punt briskly. The brakes are strong and reassuring, the steering light and crisp with good levels of feedback and both have a reassuring feel to them.

The sport seats are comfortable and hold you securely in place; there’s also plenty of reach and tilt adjustability in the steering column so finding your ideal sweet spot behind the wheel is easy. And if you don’t want to kick a clutch pedal you can order a Veloster with an auto gearbox. In manual guise, the entry model Veloster will set you back $35,490.

Hyundai Veloster Turbo coupe

Engine 1.6 litre turbo
Power 150kW @ 6000rpm
Torque 265NM@1500rpm
0-100km/h 7.5 secs
Gearbox 6-speed manual
Brakes discs f&r
Wheels 18x7.5 inch
Price $35,840

 

HYUNDAI i30 FASTBACK N

Next cab off the rank is the Hyundai i30 Fastback N.

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What Hyundai has done here is popped a fastback rear end where the hatch was, just like many car makers are doing to their SUVs. But while most SUVs look ridiculous and ruin their practicality, the fastback body gives the i30N a Euro look to its silhouette while increasing it boot space. However it does come with a $1500 premium over the hatch.

The i30N Fastback gets the same running gear as its hot hatch brother meaning a two-litre turbo four, six-speed gearbox and front-wheel drive through a limited slip diff.

The engine belts out a very healthy 202kw and 353Nm and the Hyundai joins more expensive rivals Honda Civic Type R, Volkswagen Golf R, Audi S3 and BMW M140i and Mercedes A45 AMG as members of the 200-plus kilowatt club.  Its two-litre, twin-scroll turbo four-cylinder engine pulls hard from 1500 rpm and as it reaches the 7000 RPM red line, a band of gearshift lights illuminate. Very racy. From standstill 100km/h comes up in 6.1 seconds and it has a top speed approaching 250km/h.

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After a short time behind the wheel, the Fastback N had me hooked, thanks to its sizeable grunt, slick-shifting gearbox, taut ride, excellent road manners and the way it eggs you on to push a little harder. Love it.

Theatrics are plentiful when driving the Fastback N with up and downshifts echoed with a stream of pops from the exhaust that permeate the cabin and nearby surrounds.

The fastback feels light on its toes. Its agility helped by a mechanical limited-slip differential, Australian-tuned adaptive damper sports suspension with a slightly softer front end to the hatch, specially developed Pirelli 19-inch tyres and well-weighted, pin sharp steering that offers plenty of feel and feedback. The 345mm front disc brakes wash off speed impressively and it’s easy to tell this car was built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. The only downside is the pedal placement that renders heel and toe downshifts impossible. Pity.

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A heavy-footed approach results in a touch of understeer and front shudder in the wet but with a little less throttle enthusiasm, it disappears. In the dry its grip levels are excellent.

Being a Hyundai it has everything but the kitchen sink with a brace of safety systems, driver assistance tech as well as a suite of apps including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto within its infotainment system.

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There are also selectable drive modes – but stick it in race and enjoy it to the max - a lap computer, heated sports seats in suede and leather, a heated steering wheel, dual zone air and much much more.

After a week with the Hyundai i30 Fastback N that included many country kilometres, city schlepping and using every centimetre of its hatch area carting stuff to new digs, its completeness is exemplary.

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If the vast sum of attributes of the Fastback N and quirkiness and performance of the Veloster are factors that determine a modern classic, you just might be reading about this pair in Unique Cars in decades to come.

Hyundai i30N Fastback Performance Luxury

Engine 2.0 litre turbo
Power 202kW @ 6000rpm
Torque 353nM@1500rpm
0-100km/h 6.1 secs
Gearbox 6-speed manual
Brakes discs f&r
Wheels 19x8 inch
Price $42,510

From Unique Cars #441, June 2020

 

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