2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally
When Hyundai pulled off the sheet at the 2015 Chicago Autoshow, the thought was: “here is just another special edition with matte paint.” What they have done here is produced their most simplistic and evolved version yet. With only 1200 units available it’s exclusive. In a good climate this would be a Veloster fan’s dream. This is a Veloster Turbo spec with the same 1.6L good for 201HP/195TQ. However, what you get is light weight Rays Engineering wheels at 15.6lbs per wheel (we weighed them) revised dampers and upgraded front ARB at 27mm OD. That combined with deletion of plenty of other features makes this one notch above the R-Spec model. It’s basic, light weight and only offered in manual transmission. The manual trans is one of the best FWD unit we have used and the motor is quick to please with good fuel economy.
The issue now? It’s at the end of the lifecycle which means the shopper gets a dated interior and budget chassis with torsion beam rear axle. They have massaged the setup plenty since 2002, gone is the choppy ride and crummy tires. In fact there are many changes implemented here like the round shift knob, B&M short shifter, improved gauge cluster and plenty more. Hyundai as a group listened to most of the owner’s complaints and made manufacturing improvements.
At 1.6L and 18PSI of peak boost this motor feels extremely strong mated with the lower weight of the Rally model. However there is heat soak, after back to back runs that once strong power delivery feels dialed back. The engineers designed this for efficiency despite the high output per liter. Running on 87 octane/regular fuel seems like a magic trick. The magic is the ECU’s ability to cut timing and control boost.
This is by far one of the best FWD manual transmissions. It always feels consistent in the cold and in hot, shifting smooth and being direct. It’s right up there with some of the better Honda shifters.
On the street and around town one is almost fooled into thinking this was a high performance hatch. It feels direct, steering has good weight, turn in is sharp. It’s when the Veloster gets pushed hard that the bump steer in the rear compounds with front end issues making it unable to keep the tires planted. This is the one car that could be transcended with an LSD. Ride quality is much better than it was in 2012 even over choppy pavement.
Best tank average was 29MPG, worst 25MPG.