I don’t know what Hyundai are doing with the Veloster Turbo release, and I’m not sure that they know either. It’s been a few weeks now since the VT started showing up and there is a helpful guy on a forum who is posting the US shipping database every couple of days, and here is an example.

If you look real closely, you’ll see there aren’t very many in CA yet, and if you ask local dealers they will tell you they have no idea when or if they are getting anything. And what there is, is very automatic tranny-centric. I think of the almost 300 on that list there are perhaps 2 or 3 that match what I want, and none of them within 1500 miles of me. An Oxnard dealer says there are another 200 waiting at the port and he expects a couple, but has a waiting list of 35. All this suggests I am in for a very long wait on the Veloster Turbo.

Which got me thinking….. how does a new MINI stack up? So I got on the configurator and came up with this (ice ice) baby.

2012 MINI Cooper S 2013 Veloster Turbo
MSRP $27,350 (likely negotiable) $25,475 (min price)
Options Premium Pkg, Sport Package, Garage Door Opener Ultimate Package, Garage Door Opener
Extras Climate control, auto headlights, rain sensor, DSC 7″ touch screen, deluxe stereo system
Performance 27 / 35/ 30 MPG, 0-60 6.2s, 141 mph 26 / 38/ 30 MPG, 0-60 6.8s, 121mph

So a similarly equipped MINI is about $2k more expensive MSRP but I figure you can probable get under that these days. The biggest difference is that the MINI doesn’t have the technical package of the Veloster but in its favour is that I expect it will be of much better build quality, and of course much better handling. The other difference is that I can probably have the MINI I want in a few weeks rather than the (possibly) months for the VT.

Hmmm… indeed.

Why I Like the Veloster Turbo

Several people have said “oh noes” you can’t get rid of your MINI, or “what an ugly piece of crap, how can you want one of those!” so I thought I’d point out some reasons that the VT appeals.

  • Price. For $26k or so I can get a sporty looking vehicle that can do 0-60 in just under 7 seconds, has sunroof, rear camera, 7″ touch screen with Pandora, bluetooth, navigation etc…. I can even plug my PS3 into it and play games on the screen. I can’t get a comparable MINI, Audi, BMW (not that I ever would) etc for that
  • Looks. I happen to like how it looks. Unlike the last point, we can agree to disagree.
  • Cost Savings. I do about 23,000 miles a year, 2/3rd of that on the motorways. Quick fag packet calculations… my MINI currently gets about 25 mpg, let’s say gas is $4 a gallon so that’s $3680 a year for the hot juice. The VT is advertised as 38, so lets say I actually get 34, gas is #3.80 a gallon so that’s $2570. I just saved a $1000 in gas. And I’m still having fun.
  • Rarity. For better or worse I like vehicles that are different. My first car in the USA was a Toyota Paseo, have you ever seen one of those on the road? Exactly. So the VT appeals as it will be a car that turns heads (even if only to puke) and therefore appeals to that inner need I seem to have for attention (ah, the old dance competition days….).

So there’s a few reasons. I think the car is going to be very hard to find for a while, but I really would like to get one before my MINI is up for registration at the end of August. My choice is for a Vitamin C (read: copper/orange), Manual Transmission with the Ultimate package but I may have to give up on colour, we’ll see.

Veloster Turbo Pricing

Hyundai finally announced pricing for the 2013 Veloster line today including, of course, the Turbo I’ve been waiting for. The bottom line on the Turbo is that it will be $21,950 for the MT and $22,950 for the AT. An Ultimate Package is available for $2,500 which adds

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Backup warning sensors (bodycolor sensors with specific exterior colors)
  • Navigation system with rearview camera
  • Automatic Headlights
  • 115V outlet

Some of the highlights of the Turbo are

  • 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected engine
  • 201HP at 6000RPM, weight to power ratio of 14lbs per hp
  • 38MPG Highway
  • Very fancy TFT screen on the dash, can even play XBOX 360 (what, no PS3?)

There is still no official word on whether Vitamin C (orange, basically) is available in the Turbo but my first choice for colour would be between that and the red. Oddly there is a $200 upcharge for Pearl White (not that I would ever want a white car in the desert) and a whopping $1000 for matte grey!

So if I were to go for an Ultimate MT I’m looking at around $26500 out of the door if I have to pay MSRP, but I am expecting a local credit union’s car buying service to find me better than that.

Not rushing into anything yet, but it might be getting close to time to do something.