As I was on my way to the MGM Grand at about 6:00 last night, I saw an unusual car in traffic, southbound on Maryland Parkway. It had a Hyundai badge on it, but no model name. It also carried a Michigan manufacturer's license plate. This was clearly a pre-release specimen being driven as part of final testing.
The car is the Veloster, due for release sometime this summer as a 2012 model. I had seen pictures of it in Car and Driver magazine four years ago as a concept car, then a year ago in a "coming soon" feature, then again in January when it was officially unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. It had crossed my mind that this was another possible candidate for purchase when my old Honda finally dies and has to be replaced. It looks like the Veloster will be both sporty and economical, and I kind of like its styling. (See here for a better picture, including the back door on the passenger side with hidden handle.)
This is the first time I've ever spotted a pre-release manufacturer's test car driving around the streets of Vegas. It felt like a bit of an automotive coup.