Dear Toyota and Subaru, there is someone here to meet your 86 and BRZ. It’s called the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo and it’s a hot hatch that is priced to take on your rear-wheel drive sportcars for the every man.
Purists will say that the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo shouldn’t be put in the same category as the Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ. And we would agree – in a purists game. But in the game of bang for your buck, where all a man wants is a good set of wheels under his bum for a price that won’t cripple the bank account, the Veloster SR Turbo firmly plonks itself down in the category with the 86 and the BRZ (as does the Skoda Fabia RS, by the way, but that’s another story).
Today Hyundai Australia priced the Veloster SR Turbo. The machine has a 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine that kicks out and extremely respectable 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque. That’s quite close to a Volkswagen Golf GTi and outdoes the 86 and the BRZ by three kW. On top of that, it has two extra doors than the 86 and BRZ, one on the passengers side and the hatch at the back, of course.
So it’s a little bit faster than the Toyota or Subaru examples, but does it drive as well? We wouldn’t know, having not driven one, but as it’s front wheel drive, one could safely assume it doesn’t have the same feel. It’s also a lot higher than the 86 or BRZ which means cornering will be a bit softer.
But at the end of the day, you get far more space and a lot more practicality. So with the practicality and power of a hot hatch, where does that leave it on price? $29,990 plus on roads is the goal here, being the price of the basic 86.
It’s close but not quite there. $31,990 plus on roads. Bloody well done, Hyundai. Considering that it’s real direct competitors, the Volkswagen Golf GTi, Renault Megane Sport, Subaru WRX et al are all over $40,000 and most are over $50,000, that’s just blown them out of the water. None have as unique a design either.
Would we buy one? Yes… after an 86.
Price: From $31,990
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.