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Hyundai Veloster Turbo raises hopes

The Koreans starred, the Japanese mounted a comeback, and One Ford hit the headlines with an extended family of Focus-based newcomers that it is certain to make a big hit in Australia. But it was one car and the commitment of its company chief that made the most impact as America fought back on the opening day of the 2011 North American International Motor Show.

The naturally aspirated version of the front-wheel-drive coupe will hit Australia next month and the US will get the turbo variant in the middle of this year.

It is powered by the same 1.6-litre engine, but with a twin-scroll turbo that unleashes 150kW of power, up from 103kW, and 226Nm of torque, up from 167Nm. Yet Hyundai claims a respectable 6.2 litres per 100km fuel consumption.

It will feature sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, a bigger grille, fog lamps, LED accent lights, a massive rear diffuser, twin tailpipes, alloy pedals and a 450-watt, eight-speaker sound system.

The show car also features matte paint which Hyundai promises will not just be a show attention-getter but will make it into production.

Hyundai also showed an upgraded Genesis Coupe for 2013 with a cosmetic mid-life facelift including LED daytime running lights, bigger wheel options and fog lights.

It's not all just cosmetics, though. Under the bonnet is some serious tweaking. The four-cylinder gets a 30 per cent power boost to 204kW while the 3.6-litre turbo V6 is up 31kW to 252kW.