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Hyundai Veloster Turbo R Spec
Veloster Turbo R-Spec in Los Angeles

How Hyundai’s Veloster Turbo R-Spec Stacks Up

Veloster Turbo R-Spec in Los Angeles
Veloster Turbo R-Spec in Los Angeles

America’s hot hatch game got a little hotter when Hyundai unveiled the newest addition to the Veloster family, the Turbo R-Spec. Following in the tracks of the Genesis Coupe 2.0T and 3.8 R-Spec and Genesis 5.0 R-Spec, Hyundai has created a car worthy of the R-Spec mocker. But the important question is whether or not it offers the best bang for the buck against the likes of Mini and VW.

For its $22,110 sticker price (destination included), Hyundai takes the Veloster Turbo back to basics a bit and makes this the most affordable Turbo in the lineup. In doing so, some comforts which don’t enhance the driving experience were deleted such as side-repeater mirrors, auto-up driver’s window, high-gloss interior trim, heated leather seats, proximity-key entry with push-button start, and premium gauges.

Changes are largely internal and cosmetic. The Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec keeps the Turbo’s 1.6-liter motor which produces 201 hp and 195 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated with uniquely tuned suspension and steering, and a short-throw B&M Racing Sport Shifter which allows you to control the 6-speed manual transmission. Red’s the accent color of choice with red side blades and front splitter outside and red leatherette bolsters with black/red cloth insert seats inside. Of course, you’ll have R-Spec embroidered-logo floor mats and badges.

Veloster Turbo R-Spec in Los Angeles
Veloster Turbo R-Spec in Los Angeles

Hyundai’s kept it simple with colors, too, offering only four: Elite White, Ultra Black, Marathon Blue, and Sprint Gray. They’re all aggressive and appropriate colors that help accentuate the R-Spec’s red accents.

When it comes to pricing alone, Hyundai has a clear advantage over both VW and Mini. VW’s Beetle R-Line packs 210 hp and starts at $25,615 with destination. While pricing for the new 2014 Cooper S hasn’t yet been announced, it’s likely to stay around the destination-included $24,095 price. If you want to go with a high-performance Mini, you could always look at the John Cooper Works Hardtop, but with current prices north of 30 grand, that’s not likely to change with its redesign.

Veloster Turbo R-Spec Side Profile
Veloster Turbo R-Spec Side Profile

From behind the wheel, there won’t be a wrong choice. All of these cars are bound to a smile on the driver’s face. Not all drivers care about the heated seats or side mirrors with integrated turn signals as offered by VW, having a proximity key, or being able to personalize a ride down to the door handles. That’s all nice, but sometimes they come at the expense of what makes driving fun: speed and handling.

For the people this car is aimed at, Hyundai want you to know they’ve listened to the calls for a more performance-oriented Veloster. It’s arrived in the form of the Veloster Turbo R-Spec.

Additional photos courtesy of Hyundai.

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