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Hyundai Veloster, Abarth 124 Spider axed from Australia

By Tim Robson, 23 Dec 2020 Car News

Affordable sports cars bite the dust

Hyundai dumps Veloster while Abarth flings 124 in wake of poor sales

Hyundai has confirmed that its quirky three-plus-one-door hatch, the Veloster, has been dumped from its Australian roster, while the Abarth 124 Spider looks to have met the same fate.

Sporting two doors on the passenger and one on the driver’s side, the first-generation Veloster debuted in Australia in 2012 at less than $24,000, lending novelty and pizzazz to a relatively lacklustre lineup.

It ended up performing quite well for the brand, adding 17,000 sales until its demise in the early part of last year.

The second-generation Veloster – built on the bones of the i30 sedan – dropped onto Australian roads in August 2019, but at a far higher price point and up against much stiffer completion… not least from within its own showroom.

2020 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Australian pricing specs news

Where the original Veloster could lead the way with a relatively spritely powertrain versus its i30 brethren, the tables turned hard on the second-gen version.

Spec for spec, the Veloster wound up being almost $10,000 more expensive than an equivalent i30, which had more doors, more passenger space and more luggage room.

As well, a new focus on performance models including the i30N, i30 N-line and the incoming i20N means that the underdone Veloster was on borrowed time.

Confirmation last year that it wouldn’t come to Australia in N form – as sold in other markets – means the Veloster will join Hyundai’s other oddity, the i30 N Fastback, on the sidelines in 2021.

 “Veloster has been discontinued for Australia,” confirmed a spokesperson for Hyundai, adding that there are still sufficient stocks to see it through until halfway through next year.

2017 Abarth 124 Spider front facing

Reports also suggest that Fiat’s Abarth 124 Spider has also met its maker, though this is yet to be confirmed to WhichCar by local importer FCA.

The Abarth 124 Spider is based heavily on the Mazda MX-5, albeit with its own 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and unique body styling.

It was dropped from the company’s roster late in 2019 in overseas markets, and its 57 sales so far in Australia in 2020 have come via stock already in dealers.

Unlike the Veloster, the 124 is said to be now completely sold out.

It’s an ignominious end for a half-decent little droptop roadster that married Italian flair with Japanese pragmatism.

It also beat Mazda to the punch with key performance upgrades like Brembo brakes and Bilstein shocks fitted as standard.

This leaves the affordable sports car category to the likes of the Ford Mustang, the aforementioned MX-5 (itself slated for an upgrade early in 2021) and the soon-to-be-replaced Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ.

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