The first photos of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster Coupe have surfaced.  Apparently snapped during cold weather testing in South Korea, the photos show a car which has begun to evolve from the two-door Veloster concept (photos attached) shown at the 2007 Seoul Auto Show.

These photos were taken through the windows of another Hyundai, as can be seen in the bottom-right corner of one of the photos.  This leads to some speculation that the pictures may have been intentionally leaked by the Korean automaker.

In the view of the car's full length the Veloster's exaggerated wheel arch is shown.  Unlike the concept, it appears to taper off into the sidesill.  The car still maintains a steeply-raked windshield, cresting at the intersection with the roof, which then slants downwards in less dramatic fashion than the concept.

The shape of the rear is not terribly clear, but taillight placement looks to be similar to the concept.  The cutout in the cover also implies that the car has kept triangular-shaped headlights.  We do like the interesting center-placement of dual-exhaust pipes, something carried over and modified from the concept.

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik has indicated that the production version of the Veloster will retain at least 70% of the concept's styling.  it will use a 140-horsepower 1.6-liter direct-injection engine capable of 40mpg.  A turbocharged, 175-hp engine is also expected.  One transmission option will likely be a dual-clutch automatic box.

The 2012 Hyundai Veloster will likely hit showrooms by the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011.  In the U.S. it may be used to replace the Tiburon coupe.

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