Although owners won’t be able to enjoy the many changes to the 2016 Hyundai Veloster until the lineup goes on sale in May, the brand did offer an early preview of the upgrades at the opening of the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. A particular high point is no doubt the high-performance Rally Edition (shown here), which will be limited to just 1,200 units, but there will be style and substance revisions throughout the rest of the roster—including the Veloster, Veloster Turbo and Turbo R-Spec—as well.
Pricing for the refreshed roster has yet to be set, although the current starting point is at $18,000.
The hot-hatch renaissance is fully upon us, and the new Rally Edition should help Hyundai better consolidate its growing reputation for funky, fun-to-drive cars like the Veloster, while also continuing to provide a possible alternative to entries like the VW GTI or even MINI Hardtop.
It’s also nice to see the brand making a major effort to update one of its more affordable choices after putting so much recent effort into premium sedans like the Genesis and Equus. Thus, even the starter Veloster will see improvements like redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels, a restyled hood and front grille, and a number of enhancements to its touchscreen navigation/infotainment system. Among them: integration with Siri Eyes Free (for select iPhones), a 90-day complimentary subscription to SiriusXM Travel Link, HD Radio functionality, and all the latest upgrades to the Hyundai telematics platform.
How about an all-new model? That would be the striking 2016 Hyundai Veloster Rally Edition, based on the potent Turbo R-Spec and combining all the performance enhancements of that model with even more athletic suspension tuning, even lighter weight wheels and a sport shifter from B&M Racing, then wraps things up with an exclusive Matte Blue exterior finish and exclusive Rally Edition badges and floor mats.
As for the Turbo—proud possessor of a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that can pump out 201 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque—it will feature its first 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, new 18-inch, machine-finished wheels, redesigned and better-bolstered front seats, a revised gauge cluster, and a set of wider-width tires mounted on redesigned, 18-inch, machine-finished wheels.
Other new details for the Veloster include orange interior accents (even for the seat bolsters), along with red seat belts for the Turbo R-Spec version.
Sure, a (very few) other cars in its class can provide more power, but the 2016 Hyundai Veloster continues to be a style leader in a segment not always known for them. The thing is, that combination of characteristics hasn’t really struck a chord with today’s customers, and Veloster sales have been slipping for three consecutive years now.
Autobytel has the feeling that won’t change for 2015, despite these significant upgrades to an already distinctive car.