Motoring: VelociRally edition
Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ
Just like the dinosaur, the Veloster Rally drives with extreme speed; it was styled after the racing versions that compete in international rally events.
I have always liked its styling and its quirky approach to practicality, but driving one has always been a letdown, especially the Turbo model because it didn't have the pace that its powertrain and looks suggest.
For 2016, Hyundai has a new, limited edition, version of the Veloster called the Rally Edition.
Styled after the racing versions that compete in international rally events, the Rally Edition makes do without a sunroof to give the platform more rigidity, and also gets sportier suspension featuring upgraded shock absorbers, coil springs and a stabilizer bar.
The Rally Edition also gets unique, blacked-out, 18-inch, lightweight wheels from Rays, and some faux-carbon fibre accents to give the car a more menacing appearance.
What is more unique about this car is it is only available in one colour, which is matte blue.
The only engine offered on the Rally Edition is the 1.6-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder motor that produces 201 horsepower and 195 pound per foot of torque. Power is fed to just the front wheels via a sixspeed manual gearbox.
All sounds very promising, but what's it actually like to drive this car?
To find out, I got to spend a week with one. First impressions were quite good. I picked up the vehicle first thing in the morning, and cold, crisp air is always favoured by turbo-charged engines as it not only contains more oxygen, but also helps cooling the turbo faster, which can get quite hot when being used.
The characteristics of this turbocharged motor are reminiscent of turbo motors from the mid '80s, as it has lots of turbo lag. On the highway, it is great. I would find a gap in traffic, leave the car in sixth gear, put my foot deeper into the accelerator, and just let the turbo spool up and take me forwards.
Couple that with its sportier ride and handling, and the Rally Edition makes for a great highway vehicle; although, it would have been better if the seats were more comfortable.
In the city, the turbo lag is very frustrating; you have to work hard to get the pace up, and it always seemed to come on boost a little too late.
On the back roads, this car is not perfect either. Even though it is supposed to have stiffer suspension, I still think there is a bit too much body roll, and the steering rack could benefit from being quicker.
It could have been more efficient also; I averaged 8.6 litres per 100 kilometres in city and highway driving during my test week, which is almost exactly what the manufacturer quotes for this model.
The cabin is essentially the same as any Veloster Turbo, but the Rally Edition gets some unique trim on the front seats. It is nicely equipped, as you not only get heated seats, but also a heated steering wheel, making it ideal for Canada.
You also get a reversing camera and its TFT infotainment screen also features a game to help turn you into an eco-driver.
If all you've read suits your style, then you can head over to a Hyundai dealership and pick one up right now; pricing starts from $27,199.