Hyundai's newest R-Spec is also the cheapest Veloster Turbo

Like the Genesis Coupe, the 2014 Veloster Turbo gains a decontented R-Spec trim level with increased performance at a lower price.

Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin
2 min read
2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec
Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec
Antuan Goodwin/CNET

LOS ANGELES -- At the 2013 LA Auto Show, the Veloster Turbo becomes the latest model to wear Hyundai's "R-Spec" performance badge, joining the Genesis Coupe 2.0T and 3.8, and the Genesis sedan 5.0.

Aside from making the name slightly longer, R-Spec designation signals that the 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo gains a few go-faster tweaks, but loses a few premium features, offering enthusiasts and tuners boosted performance over the standard model, without the boosted price.

In the "upgrades" column, the Veloster Turbo R-Spec's handling has been improved with higher spring rates, retuned steering settings, and a more rigid transmission mount. Speaking of the transmission, the R-Spec is available only with the 6-speed manual which has been augmented with a short-throw B&M Sport Shifter has been added for a tighter, more direct shift feel.

The 1.6-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged engine remains untouched, but if you've taken even a glance at our SEMA coverage this year, you'll know that there's tremendous power potential in the aftermarket.

Shortly after launch, both the 2014 Veloster Turbo and Turbo R-Spec models will receive Active Sound Design, joining the ranks of sport compacts that use resonators to pipe engine sound into the cabin for a sportier auditory experience.

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec
In place of the standard heated leather buckets, the R-Spec gets leatherette sport seats. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

However, to keep the price down, Hyundai has deleted certain amenities including the smart keyless entry with push-button start, the premium gauge cluster, turn-indicator mirrors, the driver's auto-up window, and the leather heated seats. Unlike the Genesis Coupe R-Spec, the Veloster appears to still be available with its touch-screen infotainment, navigation, and BlueLink telematics, so it's not a total stripper.

In place of the leather buckets, the R-Spec get red and black cloth-upholstered sport seats with red leatherette bolsters and floor mats embroidered with R-Spec logos. Differentiating the Turbo R-Spec from standard Veloster Turbos are a red-accented front splitter and side blades that just seem to scream "write me a ticket." Exclusive to the 2014 model year, there's also a new Sprint Gray paint color.

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec
When the R-Spec hits the market, it'll be the least expensive Turbo model you can buy. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

At an MSRP of $22,110, including $810 destination charge, the R-Spec is also the lowest price point in the Veloster Turbo lineup, making it of particular interest for tuners who are going to mod it anyway. R-Spec production will begin in December 2013, with availability in early February 2014.