The 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo has a new trim level, the R-Spec, which is making its debut at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show.Product planner Mike O’Brien says the R-Spec is perfect for “tuner-oriented buyers and people who want to do their own accessories.” The idea is to offer a cheaper Veloster Turbo with less standard equipment for people who want to modify the hot hatchback as soon as they get it home from the dealership.
Compared with a standard 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo, the R-Spec drops push-button start, heated front seats, leather, gloss-black interior trim pieces, auto-up driver’s window, and side-mirror signal repeaters. Those may sound like minor deletions, but O’Brien says that removing all those components will allow the R-Spec to be priced about $1000 less than a Veloster Turbo.
Even with the price cut, the R-Spec receives several upgrades. It can be had in a unique Sprint Gray paint color, and special red leatherette/black cloth seats are available. The suspension has stiffer springs, the transmission mount is tougher, and the electric power steering has a “heavier” calibration. The six-speed manual transmission receives a B&M short-shift kit (the optional six-speed automatic is not available in the R-Spec), and buyers can option special side skirts and a front splitter.
In addition to various R-Spec badges, the 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo also gains Torque Vectoring Control. An extension of the stability control system, TVC can briefly apply the front brakes to reduce wheelspin and understeer in aggressive driving. There are no changes to the 1.6-liter turbo-four engine, which remains rated for 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque in the 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
The decision to add a sportier, more enthusiast-oriented version of the 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo makes sense given the car’s demographics. Hyundai says that 35 percent of Veloster buyers pick the Turbo model rather than the standard 138-hp hatchback, and that a full 25 percent of shoppers opt for a manual transmission. While those aren’t enormous numbers, it does bear out Hyundai’s assumption that the Veloster Turbo is an affordable halo model for thrill-seeking shoppers who are also price-conscious.
Although an exact sticker price has yet to be divulged, expect the 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec to command approximately $22,000, including destination, when it goes on sale in February 2014.