The new-for-2013 Veloster Turbo adds some much-needed horsepower to the flashy-but-slow base Veloster, Hyundai’s genre-bending compact hatchback that debuted for 2012. As is customary for performance variants of regular-line vehicles, the Veloster Turbo gets a few exclusive appearance features that give it a racier look than its naturally aspirated sibling. Up front is a unique fascia with a larger grille and round fog lights, along with standard projector-beam headlights with LED accents. The rocker panels sport “ground effects” side sills, and the Turbo-exclusive rearview mirrors have integral LED turn-signal indicators. A roof-mounted body-color spoiler, LED taillights, and unique rear fascia with a diffuser and oversize exhaust tips bring up the rear.
However, the Veloster Turbo’s most unusual appearance feature might be its flat-finish paint option. Matte finishes have been trendy on custom cars and the one-off show vehicles at the SEMA aftermarket industry show for the past few years, and luxury brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have recently offered low-gloss “satin” finishes as part of expensive option groups or on pricey limited-edition models. Smart also offered a matte green finish on its tiny, low-volume ForTwo for 2011, but Hyundai is the first mainstream automaker to dip a toe in the flat-paint pool.
The Matte Gray paint is a $1,000 Turbo-exclusive option intended for enthusiasts only, since the finish demands careful cleaning and maintenance well beyond what a normal glossy paint job requires. (The steep price tag, mainly due to the extra manufacturing processes required, will also likely limit sales). Hyundai throws in a Matte Finish Paint Owner’s Guide with detailed instructions on the proper care and maintenance of the special paint, along with a Dr. Beasley’s-brand car-wash kit that includes multi-step cleansers and wash mitts. Buyers are required to sign a release form indicating that they understand the finish’s relatively fragile nature and the fastidious upkeep required.
If all this seems too much, the Veloster Turbo color palette also offers traditional gloss finishes in Ultra Black, Ironman Silver, Marathon Blue, Boston Red, Elite White, and Vitamin C (a bright metallic orange color).