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Hyundai shows 220kW mid-engine Veloster

Road ready: Hyundai’s Veloster Midship concept is fully driveable.

Veloster Midship concept ignites speculation of baby supercar from Hyundai

29 May 2014

OFFICIALLY, a mid-engined, high-powered Hyundai Veloster revealed at South Korea’s Busan motor show today is just an engineering exercise to see what is possible with the chassis of the small coupe.

However, the excitement generated by the one-off concept called Veloster Midship – named for the positioning of the engine behind the two seats and ahead of the rear axle – might just trigger a production version of the pocket supercar down the track.

Adding to the speculation was the news that the hot coupe – packing 220kW of power from the 2.0-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder engine behind the seats – is fully driveable, and not just a fanciful show car.

The car might turn up in Hyundai’s promised high-performance ‘N’ range – its answer to BMW’s M or Mercedes-Benz’s AMG.

The Veloster Midship was developed at Hyundai’s engineering skunkworks at Namyang – hence the proposed ‘N’ sub-brand – that developed the prototype for Hyundai’s i20 world rally championship car.

Apart from turning the rear wheels instead of the conventional Veloster front-wheel-drive layout, the Midship is said to ride on a light aluminium suspension and extra-rigid chassis – a design that promises prodigious performance.

The company was at pains to say that the special Veloster was developed “only to explore possibilities for the Veloster chassis and is currently not related to any future production model”.

The vehicle shown at Busan would have required major surgery to shift the engine from the front to the back – a move that is unlikely to be made on the production line in the current generation.

However, if such a car eventuates in showrooms, Hyundai Motor Company Australia is likely to be first in the queue.

Public relations general manager Bill Thomas said he would love to jump on a plane to South Korea to drive the little supercar, which he said looked “awesome”.

He said no such car was in the Hyundai forward model plan, but he added that he would not rule out a similar vehicle being developed in future.

The current Veloster sports flagship is the SR Turbo, armed with a 1.6-litre direct-injected turbo engine producing 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque, driving the front wheels via either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic.

The 2.0-litre engine in the Veloster Midship appears to be a warmed over version of the Theta T-GDI engine that produces 204kW in the Sonata 2.0T and Genesis Coupe and well as sister company Kia’s Optima Turbo sold in North America.

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