2019 Hyundai Veloster R-Spec Review - Save The Manuals
2019 Hyundai Veloster R-Spec
Save the Manuals!
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
The timing of my Hyundai Veloster R-Spec media-loan couldn’t have been better. On a Sunday morning I was planning to cruise over to a local Chicago summer-time gathering of motor-heads. Rise & Drive is a cars and coffee type casual meet-up of local car folk that brings out a decent assortment of different special interest vehicles of all ages and makes.
The 2019 Veloster R-Spec with its Ultra Black exterior, 18-inch black-finished alloys and dual exhaust should get some nods. Right off the bat the Veloster’s unique two-plus-one door asymmetrical bodystyle configuration drew some raised eyebrows from the event organizers.
We got our first look at the all-new Veloster and Veloster Turbo sport coupes at the North American International Auto Show in January 2018. For 2019 the Veloster received an exterior and interior redesign, powertrain enhancements, and an array of new and improved infotainment and connectivity features.
Exterior proportions are better on the 2019 with a more muscular stance. Higher-volume fenders and wheel arches make it look more planted and the cowl point and A-pillar are further rearward. The hood line and belt line are more integrated and the roofline has been lowered for a distinctive coupe-like look. The black-finished 18-inch alloy wheels mounted with 225/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires on my loaner R-Spec aggressively filled the wheelhouse openings.
The single door on the driver’s side is clearly saying this side of the car is for you. The asymmetrical design continues on the inside with a driver-focused interior layout. On the R-Spec that I drove the only separation is by a curved trim piece on the passenger side of the center console. Other Veloster trim levels have more separation with unique colors, materials, and accents.
The rear seat holds two not-too-large people and under the rear hatch there is 19.9 cu.ft. of cargo space.
Powering the R-Spec is a 1.6-liter turbo, direct-injected I-4 making 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque over a broad range from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. There’s virtually no turbo lag and the engine makes for fun driving with its response. The engine itself is very quiet. However, Hyundai plays the same game as many today and pumps artificially generated engine sound into the cabin.
The R-Spec only comes with a six-speed manual that was a joy to shift with its B&M Racing sport shifter. This short-throw shifter is really nice and makes for much more fun with the manual. If you want an automatic, Veloster Turbo can be had with a seven-speed DCT dual clutch direct shift trans.
The 2019 Veloster R-Spec is priced at $22,900 plus there’s a $885 freight charge. Veloster prices start at $18,500 for the 147- HP 2.0 manual-transmission model and go up to $28,150 for the Veloster Ultimate with the DCT.
The Turbo R-Spec is really fun to drive with its 18-inch Michelin PS4 tires, quicker steering ratio and a different steering calibration for better feedback.
All Veloster models offer Torque Vectoring Control (TVC) that utilizes the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and powertrain control systems to improve dynamic cornering during more enthusiastic driving.
On the safety front all Velosters have forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist. The R-Spec also has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Infinity premium audio system with eight-speakers, as well as comfort features we expect today as standard.
I’m not so sure fuel economy will be very important to R-Spec buyers. But anyway, the EPA test-cycle ratings are 29 mpg combined, with 26 city mpg and 33 highway mpg. I didn’t do any fuel economy runs since I was having too much fun. However, it has been my experience with Hyundai vehicles that it is not too difficult to exceed the EPA highway rating on long road trips.
Lots more information on the Veloster R-Spec as well as the entire model range can be found at Hyundai USA Website Veloster Minisite
As it turned out, the Veloster R-Spec did draw some attention at my Sunday Rise & Drive show. Most show-goers hadn’t even seen one on the street and were curious about the Veloster’s performance creds. Plus, that all black exterior brought out a few wows!
Meanwhile, just recently Hyundai Introduced the 2019 Veloster N, its first U.S. market N-brand high-performance model…there should be more. They did this at Germany’s famed Nürburgring.
Hyundai chose the famed crests and bends of the Nordschleife, for its first N media drive. World famous iconic racer Jackie Stewart infamously dubbed it “The Green Hell” for its challenging 23 kilometers of more than 160 apexes.
The Veloster N features a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with up to 275 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. An electronically-controlled suspension with multiple track-tuned driving modes, 19-inch wheels, and integrated body design details clearly differentiate from Veloster N from the rest of the line.
The Veloster N is expected later this year and we don’t yet know pricing.
Who said cars are dying? Not the auto enthusiasts and The Auto Channel audience...
© 2018 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy