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Hyundai Veloster Concept

Prototype Veloster testing alongside a VW Scirocco  (Source: Motor Authority)
Hyundai is taking on the big guns from Japan

Reaction to Honda's CR-Z two-seater has been mixed. While the vehicle attempts to capture some of the essence of the CRX which came two decades before it, its performance (0 to 60 mph in around 10 seconds) and fuel economy aren't exactly inspiring given its hybrid powertrain.

The CR-Z only manages to achieve 31/37 mpg (city/highway) with a manual transmission and 36/38 mpg with a CVT transmission -- both figures are well below that of the larger and heavier Toyota Prius.

Hyundai, which is doing its best to punch Toyota and Honda (among others) right in the throat, is now said to be setting its targets on the CR-Z. According to Autoblog, the upcoming Hyundai Veloster -- the replacement for the Hyundai Tiburon -- will achieve 40 mpg by using a regular four-cylinder engine. This shouldn't be too hard a target for Hyundai to reach considering that its 3,200-pound Sonata midsize sedan can already hit 35 mpg on the highway.

While the CR-Z needs a hybrid powertrain to extract somewhat disappointing fuel economy numbers given its 2,750-pound weight, Hyundai says that it needs no such excess baggage. The lighter Veloster is said to be powered by a 1.6-liter engine producing around 140 hp. For comparison, Honda's CR-Z is powered by a 122 hp four-cylinder engine coupled with a 13 hp electric motor.

And if toppling the CR-Z in fuel economy and performance wasn't enough, Hyundai will likely also undercut the pricing of the CR-Z as well due to the Veloster's lack of an expensive hybrid powertrain and batteries. The Veloster also comes with the added utility of seating for four people instead of only two like the CR-Z

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RE: Old School
By Jeffk464 on 6/22/2010 12:24:36 PM , Rating: 2
There are lots of things auto makers can do. Direct fuel injection, turbo, cvt transmissions, dual-clutch DSG automatic transmissions, and of course more use of aluminum and composites to reduce weight. I can't think of one manufacturer that has put all of these goodies into a cool looking coup, they would sell like crazy.

RE: Old School
By mindless1 on 6/22/2010 12:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
No they wouldn't, nobody wants to pay a premium for a tiny anemic car. Well I concede there are some nutjobs out there that would but I'm talking about a customer base large enough to make it a viable product in a manufacturer's lineup.

Already today the larger reason the existing tiny cars sell in the US is their lower price, and all those advanced features would result in higher repair bills too.

RE: Old School
By Spuke on 6/22/2010 4:09:52 PM , Rating: 2
No they wouldn't, nobody wants to pay a premium for a tiny anemic car.
I agree with this. History shows that US consumers don't like tiny cars. They never sell well. Not for lack of trying either. Every now and then an automaker will take a billion and flush it down the toilet to see what happens. Ford is trying again with the Fiesta. Honda has the Fit but admittedly hasn't spent much money on it. I doubt that as good as the new Fiesta is, it will not sell in large numbers. Your best bet is to make the meat and potato cars (Camry, Accord, Fusion) more fuel efficient like Hyundai with its new Sonata (number 10 btw in last months US sales) if you want to improve fuel efficiency in the US.

BTW, that new Sonata is VERY nice. And with 4 cyl only engines (including a new turbo 4 coming with 274hp, estimated 34 mpg) this should be the pick for those concerned about economy but still want the mid-sized sedan that so many of us Americans enjoy.

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