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Hyundai confirms Veloster for 2011

Coupe coming: The Hyundai Veloster concept will morph into a new Accent-sized coupe with a 1.6-litre direct-injection engine.

Tiburon coupe replacement from Hyundai is confirmed for 2011

Hyundai logo10 Dec 2009

By MARTON PETTENDY

HYUNDAI has confirmed that its funky Veloster concept will belatedly replace tthe discontinued Tiburon coupe in 2011.

The news comes from Hyundai Motor America president and CEO John Krafcik who said at a press conference in the US yesterday that replacements for the small Elantra sedan, light-sized Accent hatch and mid-size Santa Fe SUV also would emerge the same year.

The range-topping Genesis sedan and coupe is expected to become available in right-hand drive form by the end of 2010, while a five-door – possibly estate – version of the next-generation Sonata, dubbed the i40, will also appear in 2011.

Meantime, Britain’s Autocar has reported that a facelifted version of the i10 mini-car and the redesigned i30 small-car will also debut in 2011, followed by a production version of the Frankfurt show’s ixMetro mini-SUV concept in 2012.

With the Tucson-replacing ix35 compact SUV, i20 small-car and redesigned Sonata medium sedan due on sale here in the first half of next year, that will give the rapidly expanding Korean brand one of the youngest model ranges in the car industry.

1 center imageHyundai has already confirmed that a production model based on the striking Veloster show car from the 2007 Seoul motor show will replace the Tiburon, which is now out of production and has all but disappeared from Australian dealerships.

But Mr Krafcik has now revealed the Veloster, which he says will donate “up to 80 per cent” of its design elements to the showroom model, will morph into a production car in little more than 12 months.

“It might be doors or a unique roof or something with the hatch. But it won’t be like anything out there before in the small car segment,” he said.

As we’ve previously reported, the production Veloster is expected to surface globally by next April at the 2010 Seoul motor show.

It had been expected to be based on the same platform as the super-successful i30 small-car and powered by a 2.0-litre engine – as the Tiburon was before it was offered here exclusively with a 2.7-litre petrol V6.

However, Hyundai’s US boss now says the Tiburon successor will be a similar size to the Accent, ensuring the entry-level front-wheel drive model’s price will be well below that of the flagship Genesis Coupe and making Hyundai’s new 105kW 1.6-litre direct-injection GDI four-cylinder petrol engine a more likely engine option.

Hyundai’s Australia sales and marketing chief Kevin McCann told GoAuto last month the 2+2-seater Veloster, which will don a new nameplate before hitting showrooms, will pander to European demand for sleek hatchbacks.

“The Tiburon is gone, but it’s a hole that will definitely be filled – and the magic word is Veloster,” he said.

“I don’t know what final form it will take, but I expect that if you look at the trends in Europe that kind of swoopy, low-slung hatchback is very appealing to the generational equivalent of people why bought two-door coupes.”

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