2012 Hyundai Veloster Debuts in Detroit, Eyes Honda CR-Z, Scion tC and MINI

[Updated Photo Gallery] What started out as the Veloster concept model at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show has come to life as a production model at this week's 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Unlike most other production models that tend to be more conventional than their conceptual siblings, Hyundai's Veloster is actually more outlandish than the 2007 design study thanks to its asymmetric layout with a single door on the driver's side and two conventional doors on the passenger-side.

Hyundai is bullish about the Veloster's rivals as the company released several comparison charts pitting the small coupe against the 2011 Honda CR-Z, Scion tC, Mini Hardtop and Mini Clubman.

According to the South Koreans, the Veloster’s total interior volume of 105.3 cubic feet beats all the aforementioned models, while the automaker also notes that at just 2,584 pounds, its small coupe is more than 400 pounds lighter than the Scion tC.

The company claims the Veloster's exterior design takes inspiration from a high-performance sport bike, while inside, the center stack and controls are said to resemble a sport bike fuel tank and incorporate an available push-button starter. Hyundai added that the air vents are inspired by motorcycle tailpipes, while the floor console mirrors the seat of a bike.

The Veloster rides on a 104.3-inch wheelbase, with an overall length of 166.1 inches and width of 70.5 inches.

At launch and at least in North America, Hyundai's compact offering will be offered with an all-new 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine featuring Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) technology. It produces an estimated peak output of 138 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and maximum torque of 123 lb.-ft. at 4,850 rpm, and can combined with a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an all-new, six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) developed by Hyundai.

The South Korean automaker said the Veloster will return an estimated highway fuel economy of up to 40 mpg.

More details including pricing and availability are to be announced soon.