True Believers at Hyundai

Gary S. Vasilash

Although the name of the host product for this site is Automotive Design & Production, implicit in that is another aspect of automotive product development, Engineering.

Clearly, the name Automotive Design & Production is already long enough (arguably too long, but that’s another story); having Automotive Design, Engineering & Production would be too difficult to fit on business cards, to say nothing of a mouthful of syllables when we answer the phone.

Anyway, we thought it interesting to note to see what the Design and Engineering divisions of the Hyundai America Technical Center (HATCI) in Irvine, California (there is another operation in Superior Township, Michigan, not far from where we are physically located), devised for the upcoming SEMA show: the Velocity.

They started with a Hyundai Veloster, and came up with this:

Hyundai Velocity

Chris Chapman, head of the Hyundai design center in Irvine, said, “In creating Velocity, we were inspired to take the Veloster’s original concept strengths to their fullest expression. Velocity gave our design and engineer team’s license to take Veloster far beyond everyday production car limitations.”

As we have previously noted, the stock production is far from being an “everyday production car” vis-à-vis its design. And the Velocity simply amps that up.

On the exterior of this concept there is a whole raft of medications, as giant front and rear brake cooling ducts, a rear diffuser, front splitter, aero side skirt lip, and a spoiler the size of a stylish kitchen table.

And what you can’t see in this sketch are the modifications that Cosworth made to the 1.6-liter, direct-injected engine, such as performance pistons and rods, as well as a turbocharger. The engine produces more than 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.

Well, this one isn’t your “everyday production car,” for certain.

Autoextremist Peter DeLorenzo talks about the True Believers in the auto industry, those who are truly passionate about automotive product development and execution, damn the suits, skeptics and scaredy cats.

Seems like HATCI has a cadre of True Believers, if Velocity is any indication.