2019 Hyundai Veloster review
The next-generation Veloster retains its two-plus-one (passenger side) door configuration. Starting MSRP for 2019 Veloster with 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine and manual transmission is $18,500. (Hyundai)

Second-generation Hyundai Veloster gets sportier in looks, power

With new sheetmetal, a more-powerful base engine, new rear suspension and an updated engine sound-enhancement system, the new-generation Hyundai Veloster has a sportier disposition.

“When we launched the Veloster in 2012, we didn’t have the Kona. So the first-generation Veloster tried to be a lot of things to a lot of people. But knowing that the Kona small CUV was coming to market in 2018 allowed us to take the next-generation Veloster in a sportier direction,” said Michael Evanoff, Hyundai Motor America’s Manager of Product Planning.

Automotive Engineering interviewed Evanoff during a recent media ride and drive for the 2019 Veloster in Detroit.

Still retaining its unique three-passenger-door configuration, the redesigned compact sports car features a new hood, fenders, fascias and roof. Cowl points and A-pillars are now further rearward. “By moving the hatch’s hinge point behind the rear seat package, Veloster gets a faster roofline profile,” Evanoff said. He noted that change also increases rear headroom (35.9-in/911.8 mm) versus the prior 35.3 in (896.6 mm).

The first-generation Veloster coupled a torsion-beam axle with coil springs for the rear suspension; that setup has been replaced. “With a multi-link rear suspension, Veloster has more dynamic handling characteristics. Veloster definitely delivers on that fun-to-drive promise with full independent motion in the rear,” he said.

Engineers reduced the suspension’s unsprung mass by replacing the prior car’s steel front steering knuckles with aluminum knuckles, saving 10.6 lb (4.8 kg).

The 2019 car’s steering-gear box is moved closer to the front-wheel centerline. “That change provides the driver with a more direct, natural feel, and it improves the car’s lateral stability,” said Evanoff.

Power upgrade
Hyundai’s Nu-series 2.0-L Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine is the 2019 Veloster’s base engine, replacing the prior model’s Gamma 1.6-L 4-cylinder. The 2.0-L engine produces an estimated 147 hp at 6200 rpm and an estimated 132 lb·ft  (179 N·m) at 4500 rpm, providing an additional 15 hp and 12 lb·ft  (16 N·m) versus the prior base engine. The 2.0-L engine mates with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Gamma-series turbocharged 1.6-L 4-cylinder is a carryover engine as the 2019 Veloster's upgrade engine, generating an estimated 201 hp. Retuning provides an estimated 195 lb·ft (264 N·m) from 1500 to 4500 rpm. “You’ll get the full torque a bit lower, rather than coming in at 1750 rpm,” Evanoff said. The 1.6-L turbo engine mates with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed EcoShift dual-clutch automated-manual transmission.

The Veloster’s new Active Engine Sound uses inputs from the throttle-position sensor as well as vehicle speed and engine rpm to provide amplified engine feedback via the audio-system speakers. “As engines get smaller and are turbocharged, those two things are akin to anti-sound. So Active Engine Sound naturally enhances the 4-cylinder engine’s sound rather than making it sound like a V12,” Evanoff said. Unlike the prior system, referred to as Active Sound Design, the driver can turn off the synthesized engine sound via the ‘vehicle settings’ menu.

Hyundai said the 2019 Veloster is the first in the compact sportscar segment to have standard forward collision-avoidance assist and lane-keeping assist. The Veloster is assembled in Ulsan, South Korea. Continue reading »
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