Saturday, September 17, 2011

My trip to Portland, OR....

It started with an email asking me if I wanted to attend the media release of the new 2012 Veloster. Of course I do!! So I replied to the email and that night  I received a phone call from the PR people at Hyundai Motor America. I passed their interview process and arrangements were made!

I had a week and half to wait and two board exams to pass in the mean time. UGH! Even though I was studying hard for my exams (which I passed with flying colors), my thoughts were on the new Veloster. I have been following the car since its introduction as a concept vehicle. I joined and began posting there. I have a feeling its become my new forum home.

Tuesday the 13th had come and I was on a plane heading for Portland. It was a long trip, but man Portland is gorgeous! I had not been in this part of the country before and I found it a very nice change from my home state of Florida (not from here...but reside. Dont get it confused! haha). The real trees and mountains were alluring. That night we had a small reception in our hotel, followed by dinner on the roof. I met a lovely young women Kelly. We were easily the youngest there by a good decade. It was our first event and we decided to stick together. While talking over dinner about various things, mostly cars. She told me to drive on the second leg and not the first one. "Trust'll want to be driving for that stretch!"  She had gone out that day as part of the second wave ( I was apart of the 3rd wave who would be driving the next day). We parted and I fell into my bad and passed out. I cant stand flying, it always makes me tired and nevermind the time difference.

Wednesday the 14th had finally come and  I would be able to see the Veloster in person! This is what I saw when I came out into the hallway.

 I sat with the people from Hyundai at breakfast and asked them a bunch of questions. I was really trying to get answers for those of you that want to know about the new Gen coupe, or the Turbo Veloster. But NOPE! They are very tight lipped and rightfully so. They have a ton of up and coming products. Although they did answer my questions about the 6spd manual in the sonata turbo. Not enough interest. I think I have thrown them for a loop when I told them that alot of people that looked at the turbo sonata for its tuning possibilites will not buy the auto..including myself.  Back to the Veloster. We had a Q and A with an information packed presentation on the vehicle. They had cool props including a side profile showing off the high strength steel and reinforcements they use throughout the vehicle. This car is light AND strong. Afterwards we headed down to to the street and over to Pioneer Square. here are some pics that I was able to snap off before being paired with Aaron from Driving Sports TV.

I was instantly brought across the square to a black with red leather seats. The red leather is a very nice touch and MY choice hands down of interior colors. Unfortunetly its only available on the Black, Red, and White. Although I must say that White with the red leather is full of win!

one cool feature about the door is the handle. Its NOT connected at the top portion of the door. This comes in handy because there are no OH SH!T handles on the roof or interior A pillar. The seats however are very comfortable and nicely bolstered. (The leather in this car is far superior then older models, say like my Elantra GT.) There really is no need for the handles because your held in place by the seat. After seeing the car and being paired up, I remembered my little birdie and invited my partner to drive first.

We headed out of the city and onto the Columbia Scenic drive. The views were spectacular!  I have not seen hills (never mind real mountains!) in quite sometime. Same goes for the trees, it was nice to see something other then palm trees. Believe it not they do grate on your nerves. Especially when you know that palmetto bugs come from certain ones. How gross!! we carved our way down this nice drive where we did come to some nice switchbacks and some beautiful waterfalls!

 One of many scenic views along the Columbia river.

 YES!!! this is what I'm talking about!! Although with Aaron still driving, I was starting to get a pounding headache. The car does not shift around like any of the cars in this segment. The torsion bar with integrated 23mm roll bar keeps the back in check very nicely and the McPherson front strut setup and 24mm sway bar keep things planted. I wish  I could share "how it feels" but  I have been asked not to say anything till the 19th. So I'll let you take the data and do the math. 2500lbs plus stiff springs and dampeners plus adequate roll bars plus 18" rims with 215/45 Kuhmos = ?  haha  It is not rocket science at all!
 At the falls we switched drivers. Did I mention how comfortable these seats are? While listening to some vocal trance tracks (one of the tracks was OceanLab "on a good day")  we cruised on with the windows down and the huge moon roof open. Now that we were away from the coast alittle bit, the sun had come out and the temps were rising. Following our directions we crossed over into Washington state over "The Bridge of The Gods" and continued east on the "Lewis and Clark Highway" or route 14.

Our path had taken us onto a side trip up the side of the mountain. I could hear the little birdie signing! Boy was she right! The road was filled with switchbacks and nice hill climbs. It also had its sweepers and every other kind of corner you could imagine. I was in heaven and what seemed like the perfect car at the moment. The little 1.6 held its own when pushed. This was our view from atop our little hill climb.

On the way down the brakes were put to the test and passed! Going down was just as good as going up! We ended up at the bottom of the above picture cruising next to the river. What I would have gave to throw a fishing pole in there and catch my own lunch. The road ended about 50 feet from where we had started. We headed back west to cross the bridge back into Oregon and into the sleepy town of Hood River. We were one of the last ones to meet at our rendezvous point. There was still plenty of food to go around though. Smoked salmon, and chicken that was bathed in some heavenly sauce along with some rice and a veggie, I was set for our tip back. We traded in our black 6spd manual for a White DCT (dual clutch transmission). We headed back to the hotel which seemed like a much faster trip. I had a blast. I want to think all of people at the Hyundai Think Tank and to all of the people that met there! It was a first for me, but hopefully not my last! Hyundai keep up the good work. We look forward to future cars and the possibility of more powerful Veloster.

here are some other random pics from the trip!


  1. that last pic was our view during lunch.

  2. Awesome post! I'm interested in a Veloster and reading your post has really made me want it more now!

  3. Your quite welcome. Check back I'll be posting something car/Hyundai related just about every week. I just started this, but I'm hoping to continue this so other can what great cars Hyundai makes.

  4. can see what great cars...brain moves faster then the fingers sometimes. LOL