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Hyundai Veloster 2018: spy shots

Hyundai has been spotted testing its second-generation Veloster in California again, with the disguised left-hand-drive engineering mule hinting that a dramatic redesign is not on the cards.

CarsGuide understands that the Veloster is likely to retain its non-traditional four-door hatchback body style, with the lack of a driver-side rear passenger door to carry on as before.

This is evident when looking at the development car's rear door handle on the passenger side, while the bodywork behind the driver remains mysteriously under wraps.

Furthermore, the next-gen model will be inspired, styling-wise, by the original Veloster, meaning it should continue to be the same distinctive affair that is synonymous with the nameplate.

However, a few noticeable changes to the exterior can be expected, including the cascading family grille that is set to become a Hyundai signature design element after debuting on the i30 earlier this month.

Additionally, the images reveal that the rear end is seemingly lower and wider than before, while the front wheelarches have become less pronounced.

Longer, horizontal tail-lights replace the predecessor's rounder-looking units, but a coupe-like roofline and central twin-exhaust tips again feature.

The Veloster is anticipated to share its platform with the all-new i30/Elantra small car twins, with the hatch set to benefit from more sophisticated underpinnings that include advanced high-strength steel.

Meanwhile, clues about powertrain options for the Veloster can be found in the latest four-cylinder petrol i30 line-up, which offers either a 120kW/203Nm atmo 2.0-litre or 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo.

Therefore, a new entry-level model grade may arrive if Hyundai decides to replace the Veloster's current 103kW/167Nm 1.6-litre with the aforementioned naturally aspirated unit.

Alternatively, the latest i30 SR and first-gen Veloster SR Turbo share the same 1.6-litre turbo engine with identical outputs, but the powerplant in the i30 is actually a reworked version of the Veloster's unit.

Nevertheless, all the attention should be on a potential Veloster N performance variant, which would borrow its engine from the upcoming i30 N that packs a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four in two states of tune – either 184kW or 202kW – under the bonnet.

Hyundai's N performance sub-brand will launch Down Under in December this year when the i30 N hot hatch arrives locally, with a sportier look and more focused handling.

Furthermore, the Korean carmaker has already confirmed that a two-door i30 N fastback is in the works, but whether or not a Veloster N would encroach on its territory remains to be seen.

Expect to see the Veloster officially break cover in 2018 at a Hyundai event, with the new model also set to go on sale in Australia next year.

Should Hyundai add an extra rear passenger door to the Veloster? Tell us what you think in the comments below.