Hyundai's plans to launch a sports car based on 2014's PassoCorto concept have been shelved, for now
Jim Holder
5 August 2015

Hyundai is continuing to monitor the sports car market for a possible future launch but has yet to make a business case for such a car, according to UK boss Tony Whitehorn.

Now-departed Hyundai Europe boss Allan Rushforth had previously said the firm was looking at a premium sports car to help increase the emotional appeal of the brand, with inspiration coming from 2014’s PassoCorto concept. However, since Rushforth left Hyundai for Nissan, the idea appears to have been put on the backburner.

“Not many people make money out of sports cars,” Whitehorn said. “The sports car market is shrinking dramatically, and even firms with heritage and a great product are struggling. Aside from the Audi TT and Mazda MX-5, it is a tough place to be.”

Instead, Hyundai is said to currently favour producing warmer versions of its existing line-up, culminating with 2017’s N brand launch. “If you can produce cars that add shine to the rest of your range, the case is that much stronger,” said Whitehorn. 

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4

5 August 2015

Even if they don't make any profit from selling a sports car, surely company image is an important factor?

5 August 2015

About small cars? I think a sporting car a la the Miata/MX-5 would be good for their image and not too expensive to build if they can use a cut-down Genesis chassis as a starting point. With the Genesis/Equus from Hyundai and the K900 from Kia the Koreans are getting above their station in life without much success (if judging by the cars one sees on the roads daily). They need to aim at the Honda/Toyota segment but offer a twist where possible.

5 August 2015

My thoughts exactly. There's little point either Kia or Hyundai trying to compete in the "premium sports" sector where badge kudos is important. The brands simply won't stretch that far at present. That said, I am somewhat surprised that, 26 years after its launch, nobody has yet produced a direct competitor to the MX-5, being a light, simply engineered RWD convertible sports car. The original BMW Z3 was similar in concept, if a bit larger (and not a great drive) but then BMW turned it into a GT in current Z4 guise. I guess the bean counters baulk at the cost of developing a bespoke RWD architecture for relatively modest projected sales. The Equus and Genesis platforms are probably too large to be easily modified.

5 August 2015

The previous generation Genesis Coupe is a lovely looking machine with a reasonably powerful 2 litre turbo and, to my eyes, would have been a more attractive proposition than any comparable Euro coupe and also the Subaru/Toyota BRZ/GT86.

The Kia K7, Hyundai Grandeur and Genesis thrash the Euro boxes stylistically. If Hyundai/Kia develop a strong diesel 2 litre and 3 litre diesel engine line up they's surely gain even more success.

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