Friday, 29 February 2008

2 Hyundai coupes arrive in 2009 (UK)

Hyundai will launch two new coupes by 2009. The first will be front wheel drive and will replace the current Coupé SIII. This is be based off the i30 and will look alot like the Veloster. Expect the same radical design, including the shooting brake-style rear end and squat, wide body, although the glass roof may be lost for safety reasons. Engine options will include the 1.6 and 2.0-litre engines also used in the i30, with a diesel model still being considered.

As part of Hyundai’s new brand restructuring, the next Coupé will remain in the same price range as the current model (which starts at £15,700) without compromising the level of quality which has been set by the new ‘i’ cars; it hasn’t yet been decided if that nomenclature will appear on the coupé.

Hyundai is confident that the new, more premium coupé’s price won’t rise because it will not come with a V6 engine option — as the current model does.

The second coupe is likely to be the Genesis Coupé. The plan is to introduce an entirely different, more performance-focused coupé based on the rear-wheel-drive, 350bhp V6 Genesis coupé concept that was unveiled at the 2007 Los Angeles show. This would be Hyundai’s answer to the Nissan 350Z, and would be available with the concept’s V6; the V8 from the Genesis saloon concept is also being considered.

The Genesis coupé has not yet been confirmed for the UK, but Tony Whitehorn, MD of Hyundai UK, maintains that Hyundai “must have a sports car as its halo model”.

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