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Hyundai plots two coupes

Published: 17 April 2008

Hyundai is plotting two different sports cars to replace the Coupe, CAR Online has learned: a low-volume, rear-wheel drive model to raise the profile of the Korean brand, and a more conventional coupe to raise sales.

The Genesis Coupe, unveiled at the March 2008 New York auto show and aimed principally at the US market, is being touted as Hyundai's answer to the Vauxhall VXR8. It's a big, rear-wheel drive sports car that's powered by a choice of 306bhp 3.8-litre V6 and 210bhp 2.0-litre turbo.

It's the bright red car pictured in the main image in our gallery above. Shades of Infiniti G37 Coupe, anyone?

Hyundai Genesis Coupe: right-hookers on the cards

Hyundai's UK masters are probing the homologation issues required to bring the car to the UK; if there is sufficient demand from other right-hand drive markets (notably Australia), then it hopes to approve a conversion.

However, it's far from a done deal, CAR understands. The Genesis Coupe was designed for the US, China and Korea and fails to meet European pedestrian impact regulations; that means an expensive pop-up bonnet and other changes that would require expensive and timely re-engineering.

Tony Whitehorn, managing director of Hyundai UK, recently told us: ‘We would love to be able to bring this amazing car to the UK, and are keeping a close eye on public reaction to see if there is demand from British driving enthusiasts.'

Think of it as a cut-price VXR8 - itself a cut-price M5, according to some...

Click 'Next' to read about the cheaper replacement for today's Coupe

And the cheaper Hyundai coupe is...

Hyundai isn't deserting its successful European Coupe - a model that's led the affordable coupe market as others have deserted it (where's your Capri, Ford?). The recent Veloster concept points to a smaller, front-wheel drive two-door aimed at European markets.

The most likely power source is the company's new 210bhp 2.0-litre turbo, and the mechanical package is based around the underpinnings of the Hyundai i30 hatchback.

Both new coupes are set to arrive in the UK in 2009, the Genesis model (main image) coming first followed by the European coupe later in the year.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet