There’s something rather odd going on at Hyundai these days. It’s name is Veloster and it has three different-sized passenger doors.


Yes, the 2012 Veloster is an oddity.


The lack of portal symmetry certainly sets it apart from virtually anything else on the road, which is exactly what Hyundai’s designers have been striving for lately. When you consider how dramatically different the latest Sonata and Elantra sedans appear from their respective mainstream peers, it was almost a forgone conclusion that shredding the styling envelope would continue.


The Veloster, available late this summer, is the slow-to-arrive replacement for the Tiburon sport coupe that was phased out following the 2008 model year.

Hyundai always planned to replace its entry-level “shark” (that’s what Tiburon means in Spanish), but it first focused on launching the upstart Genesis coupe that runs in the same rear-wheel-drive class as the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger, but without the V8 option, of course.

By comparison, the front-wheel-drive Veloster plays in a different sandbox where affordability and fuel economy are as important as eye-catching styling.

In all three areas, the Veloster could become a serious category crusher.

The Veloster will likely become another game-changing model for Hyundai. Count this as yet another groundbreaking design in the company’s recent automotive arsenal.