Thursday, October 18, 2018

A random test drive in the 2019 turbo Veloter

Hey, what's up ladies and gents?! So today I was stuck in traffic in front of my neighborhood dealership and there sat the new 2019 Veloster. My affinity for the Veloster has faded over the years,  but there was something about this white turbo that just called out to me. I decided to pull in and just take a look, but little did I know that not even ten minutes later I would be out on a test drive. This is by no way a full review but a quick snip it of my first impressions. And sorry, I do not have any pictures. Shout out to Nick over at Major Hyundai here in northeast PA for tossing me the keys. Looking forward to my phone call when the N comes in...

So without further ado, my quickie review.


Lets get to right to it...this is a gorgeous car! This is the second generation of the quirky asymetrical hatch. Everything on the outside is complete different from the previous generation. Walking around to the front of the car you can see the sharpened headlights, better proportioned grill, and very large crooked H. The bumper also has vents on the sides to help aid air to the brakes. Down the side of the car are indented body lines that make the car look bulkier and wider than it actually is. The sided skirts are also more integrated into the body lines then the previous model with "turbo"in red at the rear of the skirt. It is pretty sharp! The rear is large and appears wide. The tail lights help with this perception because they are stretched out on the rear. Gone are the rounded all in one tails of the previous gen. The stand out feature for me was the two tone roof. Being that I had a white car and black roof, it make the difference that much more dramatic. The car I drove was the ultimate and the moon roof is huge. Overall, vast improvement over the last generation.


I need to start this by saying that I am not a fan of leather and really not a fan of Hyundai's leather. I am a fan of the older style cloth seats, sort of like the the GK Tiburon. I will say that the seat was very comfortable with good lateral and lumbar support. I wish the lumbar support was adjustable though, I normally like it extended fully. The dashboard is very appealing with the center console angled and facing the driver. The display was nicely laid out and very easy to read. All buttons were satisfying to the touch and you know you turned on or off something because you would get a satisfying "click". Did I mention it has a huge moon roof? damn near the whole roof I glass. Visibility was good, save maybe out of the small rear window. A quick look over your left shoulder and you can see everything same goes for the right shoulder as you look out the rear door window. This does have the normal electronic wizardry that we have all come to expect with new cars. Lane assist, which beeped at me when clipping the apex or if you put a tire even near the yellow line. Heads up display. Eh, not a fan. I turned it off almost immediately. Roll assist, back up camera with cross traffic warning system, and the usual power everything. The materials were nice to the touch and felt more expensive than the previous generation and gone are the cheap silver accents that just simply chipped or rubbed away after time.


So the turbo is using the gamma 1.6 turbo. making 201 hp and 195 lb/ft of torque. Essentially the same motor from the previous generation, though I have a feeling that the ECU as been reworked because it felt much better than other turbo's I have driven in the past. The 6spd was slick with pretty short throws. One odd thing was the reverse ring seems to be placed too far up the shifter and it feels weird while rowing through the gears. The ratios appear to be on point and the motor is happy to rev. I dare say that I hit redline atleast once due to the rpms getting away from me on a couple of spirited pulls. The electric differential was on point and the traction control was discrete. Save the light coming on, I would have never known it was coming on.  Though perhaps it is because I had it in "sport mode". Turbo lag was minimal and really it should be with such a small turbo. It will show its ugly head if you short shift it and then get back on it again but for the most part you are almost always in boost when you foot goes down to the floor.


This is definitely where the new car out shines its older generation. The front is using the stardard Macpherson strut with spring. The rear however, *rubs hands together* is an independent rear set up with separate spring/ damper combo. This makes the car more stable in the twisties and under hard braking especially on bumping PA backroads. The car is will sprung and dampened. It is very stiff but not punishing. Body roll is kept to a minimum. The improvement here is insane. This is how it should have been when the car was released the first time. I don't even hate the new 18 inch rims especially since they are wrapped with Michelin pilot sport tires. Yum.


This car in short is a marked improvement in handling and driving impression. It does have me looking forward the release of the N edition. While the engine and tranny are a nice combo and definitely a capable pair, the chassis is screaming for more power. The additional 75 hp will be very welcomed and should scoot this sub 3000 lbs car along very nicely. This would be a nice commuter car for sure, but the thought of a 2.0 turbo stuffed in the engine bay from the factory is he thing of every Hyundai fan boy's dreams. Me included.

To be continued.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Ok guys and girls. I think it is time to get serious about this. So a couple of questions to put out there...

1. If I started a youtube channel or started Vlogging that you all would watch? I have been contemplating this for some time now. This would be car reviews, builds, and even how to videos. Also track days or scca days. Let me know what you think!

2. Different cars. I have been wanting to get my hands on a Genesis coupe for sometime, but I drove something the other day that might take me in a complete different direction. No its not a Hyundai but rather a Mazda Miata. So do I go for the smaller, lighter, and cheaper to build or stick to the Hyundai family?

I'd really like some insight from readers and potential watchers as we move forward. Let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Well, to say the least... it has been awhile!

So...where do I even begin after such a long hiatus? I guess really it has to start with what I have been up to and really what I have NOT been up to. The last 6 years have been quite eventful to say the least. Bought a house, finally started a full time career outside the car world, and spending time with my family of course.

Yes, finally bought a house. it even has a two car garage that currently has NO cars in it. It sits with building materials, a lawn mover, snow blower, and all of my random tools that I have accrued while working on the house. The 2003 Elantra GT that I had for some many years finally when to the junkyard. After hitting 4 deer, almost all in a row, rust galore, and the motor having 297,000 miles it was time to say goodbye to it. I then took over my wife's 2004 Elantra GLS AUTOMATIC. My heart breaks a little every time I drive it. Its not that bad of course, I did manage to swap over the whiteline rear sway bar to it.  The break from the car world has not been completely devoid of car content and I have been trying to take the next step and get back into the car world. My house, however has taken up quite a bit of my time and money. This has left little room for new cars, hell no room for used cars either. To be honest new cars now are just not doing it for me,  but that is a conversation to be had on another day.

Why am I starting this blog back up if I don't even have a car to work on or even review? Honestly, it is for my own sanity. I need and outlet to kind of express the lack and frustration of not having a car that is fun to drive. I watch others on youtube and friends with their own cars. Hell, I even when to a track event with my buddy and his 2006 Porsche cayman race car. I think this track event reignited the fire that had been hidden by working too many hours and too many house projects. I am hopeful for a change soon.

When I graduated in 2011 with, I'm sure is my third career, I had three simple goals. First was to actually find a good paying job and begin the infamous life's journey of working 9 to 5 and having weekends and holidays off. Being in the medical field I should have known better. This could not have been further from the truth. I have been through three different per diem jobs. A weekend job and now finally in the last year or so a full time job. Second, was to find a house suitable for any car that I might take home. It needed at least a two car garage and some working space. Living space and a yard was a definite plus, but as a car guy my focus was my work space. This was obtained in 2013 and has been draining my pockets since. It needs it and will be an awesome little place for me and my family. Even if perhaps what I have in my head does not come to fruition, it will be close. Third was to get my hands on a Genesis coupe. I have been eyeing it since I worked at the dealership and saw them hit the showroom floor. I waited and waited then the 2014 R-spec came out in that pearlescent white, brembo package, limited slip differential and finally an upgraded transmission. But, alas my saved money went down on the house and new home for any car that I might have taken home. Years later and life as yet to give me the ability to obtain one. That is okay, because I think I might be going in another direction...

stay tuned...more to come!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1 year anniversary...

When I originally set out on this, it was supposed to be used to show the new cars coming out and voice my own opinion. Lately, I have found that I have just about zero time to keep up with everything that is going on in the Hyundai world. There has been ALOT going on, but between work and life, I can not keep up. I had high hopes for this and I figured that posting up in forums would have helped it along, but 13 followers? Really? O' well. So for now, I'll be concentrating on other things.

It has been fun and I might still post things here but it will not be nearly as active as it has been in the past.

See ya on the flip side! Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Know your Vendor: Mike @ Import Shark!

So I think this will be the start of a new series of blog entries- Know your Vendor. I will hopefully be able to visit some of the more up and coming companies in the Hyundai Aftermarket.

This time around I was in Ossining, NY at Dream Toyz Auto Customz. I had set up a meeting with Mike from Import Shark. Import Shark has been around for at least a decade. The original owner and current owner were members of the original Hyundai forum. This late 90's forum was based on the older RC Tiburon first introduce back in 1997.  Boy has Hyundai grown ALOT since then. Import Shark has been there the whole time! They have been supplying Korean based parts for just about every Hyundai we have had here in the North American market. They offer a full range of performance and styling parts. Exhausts and Turbo kits all the way to body kits and spoilers. If it is not on the website, I'm pretty sure that Mike can get it.

Mike's personal car is a fine example of what you car can look and perform like just by perusing through their catalog. He first started out with a 97' Tiburon and then onto a 00'. Mike took over Import Shark back in the late 90's. He has not looked back and has been one of many companies that have made a huge difference in the way we order and receive parts from Korea. Without guys like Mike we would have next to nothing. Unlike their neighbors to the east, the S. Koreans had no way of getting their products to the North American market. It was not until Mike and others setup shop and started funneling in parts that we were able to see what the KDM had in store for us. I know I and many others thank him for his hard work and dedication. I am pretty sure that it has not been an easy road to travel.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah Mikes first generation Genesis Coupe. While there were many different cars to look at while driving through northern NJ and southern Westchester county, nothing looked like that pearly white Genesis Coupe. The Aston Martin "stratus white" paint looked superb on this sunny day. I noticed it instantly on the corner. Mike gladly let me know that he painted the car himself.  I was drawn to the front of the car. The Hana front bumper, VIS Terminator CF hood, and color matched LED headlamps flowed very nicely with the lines of the body. I then checked out the rear of the car. The Vega rear bumper and blacked out Superlux LED tail lights looked really good in person. The VIS CF deck lid with matching Ixion CF lip spoiler was open to reveal a full custom trunk filled with JL goodies. Two 10" JL subs sat in a custom box with the three JL amps out in front. Real leather and suede covered the false floor and sub box. The guys at Dream Toyz did a fantastic job! He had the lambo doors opened wide, so naturally I peered in at the interior. It matched the trunk with Corbeau racing seats and racing harnesses, a custom backseat space with the Import Shark logo and storage pockets, where the back seats used to be, and a suede headliner. It was all very nicely orchestrated. It was then that Mike had mentioned that the doors will be getting some custom midbass enclosures and finished with more suede. Chris the shop owner had come out to introduce himself and show off some side mirrors he had been working on. These mirrors would actually house 170 degree camera's facing backwards and would project the image onto 4' screens that would be fiberglassed into the A-pillars. They are pretty sick and should make the exterior of the car look even smoother without the goofy mirrors poking out. The extra angle of the cameras will also ensure that there are no blind spots.

I then asked about the suspension setup and how he had managed to get it that low, but still manage to drive around town. Turns out that he has custom pneumatic front coilovers. Think Lamborghini. With the push of a button the front of the car was raised and lowered. The rear sits on a set of Neo tech coilovers. The Stern ST-1 wheels sitting on Falken 452 tires housed the custom painted Brembo brake kit. Eibach anti-sway bars and Luxon braces rounded out the suspension mods.

It was time to pop the hood.  Under which sat the very potent Theta II turbo. I instantly noticed the white cover and charge pipes. A Garrett GT2871s was Mike's turbo of choice. The expended exhaust gases were sent through ARK downpipe and test pipe. This all connected up to the Jun B.L. catback exhaust (korean only). The cold side was fed through those wicked white powder coated Injen charge pipes. This then fed into a CX racing intercooler and back to the throttle body. A Super Drift BOV released unused charge pressure. A Ralco 3 piece pulley set and a Jun B.L. catch can finished off the engine modifications. This is all controlled by a Korean tune. I then was like, What? Mike then proceeded to tell me that the Turbo and the ecu were sent to Korea. They were then installed onto a "like" coupe there and tuned. It was then uninstalled and put back onto his car. The car turned the rollers to a modest 305hp and 301 ft/lbs of torque. He decided to go with a conservative tune because of the automatic transmission. I can't say I blame him.

The car is awesome in person. If you ever get the chance to catch it at a show do so. Also get a hold of Mike. He is a cool down to earth guy who loves his Hyundai's as much as I do. It was nice to chat about the old forums and past forum members. Mike is a veteran just like myself. The new guys have some
 catching up to do! haha

Did I mention he also has a white Veloster turbo? Oh on the look out! There are some plans for it as well.

And of course, Mike if you ever need a hand with anything...I'll be more then willing to help out.

photos courtesy of my Pops (Bob Baker). Thanks for helping me out!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Challenge accepted!

Ok here is the deal...

First off, I know I have not written in awhile and for that I do apologize. Work has been kicking my arse, even though there has been a ton of things in the Hyundai world that have been happening in the last month. The release of four new cars (Azera, Veloster Turbo, Elantra Coupe, Elantra GT) and hopefully I will be able to test drive some of these in the near future. Chrysler is to use a Hyundai automatic transmission in the new Dart and the new Santa Fe is about to be released. I think that is just about everything that matters to me. Back to the challenge. 

The topic on hand at the moment is a 100m challenge. Yes that is right 100m, though you have to run it not drive it. The challenge was simply how fast could you run the 100m? The challenged was issued by none other then our founder and site admin SuperGLS over at Well, I instantly jumped at it and went for a ride. I found a football field that was marked out 100 yards. I know its not 100m so like somebody on ElantraXD pointed out, if you had one of the end zones it will be close enough...roughly 109 yards. So without further adieu I pulled out a stop watch and ran.  

I came to the end hit the button on the stop watch and somewhere between hitting the button and trying to stop...I tumbled down onto the field. I simply laughed at myself, looked around making sure nobody else was looking, and brushed myself off.  I walked back to the starting point and did it again. Success! I'm not sure how my time stacks up against others but I did it in 14.8 secs. I'm pretty sure that the foot long sub I had just an hour or so prior did not help and I am almost certain I pulled my tendon on the bottom of my foot. O'well, till next time! 

Things to come...

Ok, so I have a surprise for those of you that actually read this. I'm thinking of going in a new direction with this blog. I think I'm going to concentrate on the aftermarket for Hyundai and tomorrow I have an interview with somebody who knows a little about it...Stay tuned!! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Just do it!

Go for a drive. I just did and it was wonderful. It started out as a trip around the block just to get out of the house and into the nice dusk air. I ended up about 10 miles away at an overlook on Rt 80. I watched the most gorgeous sunset and was then rewarded with an amazing maze of twisties to get back to Rt 80. Hahaha. When was the last time you went for a drive???

Speaking of drives...

June 18th marked the media release of the Veloster turbo, Elantra GT and the Elantra coupe. We should see  some real world numbers on all three of these cars in the up and coming weeks. It was be interesting to see how the North American cars fair with reviews from other countries. All of these cars have been on sale in Korea for the last couple of months and have already started a following. I know myself and many more have been following the Veloster turbo for quite some time. We are all stoked!! looks good on all of them.

A long drive that will not be made...

Is the one to go the Hyundai Pittsburgh meet. It is just not in the cards at the moment. I would have loved to come out and hang out with some of the forum members from multiple forums and have seen a ton of modded Hyundais. O well maybe next time. I do have you are all have fun and stay safe!