Hyundai has confirmed plans to release a turbo sports version of the all-new Veloster hatchback in Australia, with performance figures that will keep the current hot hatch market on its toes.

In recent years the South Korean manufacturer has turned its cheap and nasty image into a cheap and stylish one. European designers and more solid engineering work has seen its current line up of cars come out with favourable reviews. So what better time than to now to take a stab at the performance hot hatch market?

Hyundai’s new Veloster hatchback, a unique four door (one on the driver’s side, two on the passenger’s and the hatch) with looks that hark back to Honda’s CRX, will get the hot hatch treatment. Usually mated with a 103kW 1.6 litre engine, the sports version will gain a turbo 1.6 litre plant that will produce an impressive 150kW, closing right up on current market leaders, Volkswagen with its Golf GTi.

It’s not only the engine that gets the hot hatch makeover, the car will also feature sports body kit and spoiler, special interior and an all-over lighter packager (1,270kg). You will be able to grab either a traditional six-speed manual version or a dual-clutch automatic.

With Hyundai’s pricing usually at the very sharp end, you can expect it to undercut the Golf GTi and others by at least a few thousand dollars. Considering you will be laying down more than $50,000 for a new Golf GTi or Megane, and around $40,000 for a WRX, we would expect to see something around the $30,000 to $40,000 mark. But that’s just a hunch.

Don’t hold your breath though, it won’t be reaching our shores until 2013. On our recent trip to South Korea we saw a stack of Velosters already on their roads. Looks wise, they are worth waiting for.

Web: Hyundai