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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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