Can you take the turbo out of a Veloster for better mpg?

This is probably a stupid question but… I found the perfect car for me however it’s a turbo model of the Hyundai Veloster… and I want a standard base model because it gets much better fuel economy.

Is it possible/easy to remove the turbo from this car to make it into a base model veloster? Would it hurt the car? Would I have to worry about stuff going wrong?

again sorry if this is a dumb question but I don’t know anything about turbos

it’s a 2015 Manual transmission Hyundai Veloster.

I really don’t know the answer. But if the car has a boost gauge, you will most likely get better MPG than the NA engine if you can keep from going into positive pressure, which is difficult to do. Likely removing the turbo will mess with the car’s computer system.
Aside from that, I would avoid a used car with a turbo only because there is no way to determine how the previous owner treated it, with a manual transmission, even more likely the car was abused.


This is one of those ‘if you have to ask’ questions. If you were an engineer specializing in engine design, or a tuner with lots of experience, the answer would be ‘maybe, but doubtful’. Anyone else, I think the answer is ‘nope’.

The engine is a complete system, it’s not designed to run efficiently without the turbo. If you do buy it (after an inspection you pay for), just keep your foot out of the gas and it’ll get the best mpgs it can.


Why can’t you buy a base model without the turbo? You found one car. Surely there are base model Velosters within a couple hundred miles of where you are. If it’s a low price turbo, there are probably reasons for the low price

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Kind of an interesting question, just for the sake of discussion. I suppose you could remove the turbo. Then you’d probably have to get the car’s computer custom tuned. I’m not sure if you’d have to change anything else. Most discussions revolve around the opposite of what you want to do.

Does the base model and the turbo version have the same engine besides the turbo? Or does the turbo version have a smaller engine that is turbocharged? If it’s the latter, that thing might be a total bummer to drive.

If I recall, the turbo model had different gearing than the NA model (I know at least the earlier years had a regular manual rather than a DCT). So once you’re up to speed, whichever car has the taller final gear has an inherent advantage.

Beyond that, as @Purebred said, you can get good mileage with a turbo as long as you don’t get into boost much. Drive it like your grandpa and you’ll be fine.

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Typically a turbo engine will have a lower compression ratio, and that reduces the power output of the engine given the same fuel consumption. For instance the Volvo 850 GLT has the normal 2.4L 5 cylinder engine with low pressure turbo that only gives it about 10% more power. It can’t go much higher with normal gasoline because of the compression ratio. It would get 30 MPH with the cruise control at 55 MPH and no AC on. The 850 Turbo with the high pressure turbo and the lower compression 2.3L engine would only get 26 or 27 MPH in the same conditions.

If you want to get rid of the turbo, just figure a way to force the waste gate open, or make a switch that keeps it open to bypass the turbo when you don’t want it.

For city driving if you want good fuel economy you need a manual transmission or a modern automatic with a torque converter that locks in the lower gears. If it’s primarily for highway use then it doesn’t matter much. Every 4 speed automatic that I know of locks the torque converter in the highest gear.

2 MPG difference between the two cars. shows the annual fuel cost estimate to be $100 more for the turbo model. Do you want to spend $5000 to modify the car for 2 MPG?


Sounds like a bad idea to me. Have you done this?


If you haven’t bought the car yet, look elsewhere.

And keep in mind: are you trying to save gas or trying to save money? Because as mentioned above… if you buy the car and have to pay someone to remove the turbo (assuming it’s possible), then you’re going to be out that additional cash. Meaning, you’re spending more money to spend less money on gas…

A difference of 2 MPG isn’t worth worrying about.


My recommendation is to train the right foot to keep the turbo mostly dormant.


My 2 cents… drive it and enjoy it. life’s too short to sweat the small stuff.
2 mpg is not a noticeable difference to worry about.


Except it doesn’t

Possible? Yes, Easy? No

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No. I think it’s better to spend a small amount of time making the waste gate stay open than to spend a bunch of money removing the turbo. I was reading forum postings and apparently there is at least one ECUs that doesn’t have fuel maps to handle no boost at full throttle and high RPM so it runs the engine rich. This is a much cheaper experiment than removing the turbo. If it doesn’t work out then it can be hooked back up. How much will be bypassed with a full open waste gate varies by vehicle, based on my reading about stuck waste gates. So some cars will still build a little boost with the waste gate open. It doesn’t seem like anyone has wanted to remove the turbo on the Veloster before!

I found this discussion: Engine swap | Veloster Turbo Forum

The 2015 1.6T appears to be 9.5:1 compression and the NA 1.6 is 11:1. That right there will be like half of the fuel economy difference. Both allow the use of 87 octane fuel.

I wonder does it have throttle by wire (so the ECU can limit the throttle to prevent pinging) or is this high compression ratio with regular gasoline possible due to gasoline direct injection?

So you have no experience with doing this, but are recommending it? No reference to anyone else that has tried it?

Like I said, bad idea.


Sounds like you’d wind up with a detuned, low timing, rich running version of the naturally aspirated engine that has a turbo doing nothing but pushing wasted air and acting as an additional drag on the engine, at best. I’m thinking if you just blow off all the boost through the wastegate, you’ll still burn just as much fuel unless the computer is tuned. If the computer doesn’t command the wastegate closed, it won’t know to reduce the amount of fuel.

My thinking anyway. Could be wrong. I’m in the “drive it like it doesn’t have a turbo” (or find one with no turbo to buy) camp as the best option.

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And if OP searches wider for a base model there might be considerable money saved on insurance.
There’s lots of fish in the ocean.
It’s almost always better to find a car that is already what you want, than make a car you found into what you want.

Yes, that is the part of the reason it can be so high. Variable cam timing is another part of it.

The 2021 model 2.0 liter 6A engine has a whopping 12.5:1 and runs on regular unleaded.

I think you could sell car and buy a replacement and break even. A turbo model is more money then a non turbo?

I have a manual shift 2016 Veloster Turbo. The engines are the same between the Turbo and the NA, just the Turbo and the tuning. The transmission also is different. The NA transmission shifts harder, I think it might be 5 speed. The Turbo shifter is more slick (thnk Golf R) and is 6 speed.
When I drive like an adult, I average 34 MPG on each tank. The NA does not move well at all, very underpowered. If you want better gas mileage, then you are better of looking at an Elantra, Civic, Corolla or even a Prius.
The DI injection turbo, does have some pinging when the weather is warm with regular gas, so I have to put mid-grade. Mine has 73K miles and just recently has started to use a bit of oil (0.25 qt/3K miles). I know that is not much, but we have a Sonata that was doing the same and now is going through 1 qt of oil every 500 miles. So, I am not very optimistic.
The Turbo kicks in at 1750 RPM’s, so it is pretty easy to drive it “without” the turbo for the majority of the time. You just end up using it when your life is being threatened!

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