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NAIAS 2011: 2012 Hyundai Veloster and Curb Concept


      One of the few true surprises of the show was the newest production offering from Hyundai and what a delight it was. The Veloster may have a silly name but we’re convinced it’s anything but.
     The small coupe class doesn’t have much for interesting hardware and Hyundai aims to change that by packing its youth-oriented offering with technology, innovation and responsiveness. Veloster is launching with Hyundai’s brand new Blue Link technology which integrates your smart phone with the center screen controlled infotainment system. Entry to the back seats is usually a burden for coupe passengers but Hyundai utilizes a small conventional side door on the passenger side to make entry easy-peasy, at least for those measuring south of six foot.
     Executives admit the Veloster won’t win any drag races with its 1.6-liter 138 hp I4, but claim that the car’s 6-speed manual or company-first dual-clutch transmission and responsive handling will reward the driver with true athletic sports coupe dynamics. We tend to believe them since they managed a modern miracle by bringing the curb weight in at 2,584 pounds. In addition to the obvious handling dividends, the lightweight will also help the Veloster return up to 40 mpg.
     We liked what we saw and if Hyundai sets a base price around $17,000 like we expect, the 2012 Veloster should have no trouble shaking up the small coupe segment when it goes on sale this summer.
     Hyundai also tried to get in touch with its youthful self in Detroit with the debut of the Curb Concept. This Urban Activity Vehicle (UAC) was designed specifically with the needs of socially active Generation Y consumers in mind. The Curb features an advanced version of the aforementioned new Blue Link technology utilizing a large 12-inch screen as well as a heads up display. It is powered by a direct-injection 175 hp 1.6-liter four cylinder and rolls on seriously large 22 inch wheels.

Hyundai Curb Concept
Photos by Jason Muxlow

Hyundai Veloster
Photos by Jason Muxlow

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