LOADING animate – and sometimes inanimate – passengers into the back of a coupe is hard work. Getting them out is worse. Now Hyundai has built in metal the essence of the ‘‘have your cake and eat it’’ proverb with its Veloster coupe.
The coupe (pictured) – shown as a concept late last year and yet poised for launch here within eight months – has two doors on the left side and one on the right.
That gives kerb-side access for intending occupants of the front and rear seats while retaining a single door access and a sporty profile on the right.
Hyundai puts the two doors on the right side for left-hand drive markets – unlike Mini which has a similar two-one door concept in its Clubman wagon but doesn’t switch sides for Australia.
The Veloster, one of four important new models from Hyundai to be launched here this year, also breaks tradition by offering the coupe with the company’s first dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT).
Hyundai claims its DCT makes the coupe as fuel efficient as the standard six-speed manual transmission version, yet is easier to use in city traffic. Over a conventional automatic, the company claims the DCT is up to 6 per cent more fuel efficient and up to 7 per cent faster in acceleration.
The sole engine for the Veloster is a new 103kW/167Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit that is the smallest Hyundai engine to use petrol direct injection.