Break­ing tra­di­tion

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By NEIL DOWL­ING

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.

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