LOS ANGELES -- At the 2013 LA Auto Show, thebecomes the latest model to wear Hyundai's "R-Spec" performance badge, joining the Genesis Coupe 2.0T and , and the .
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 takenthis 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.
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.
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.