Korean coupe scoop: hotter Hyundai could make our roads yet
1 October 2007

Hyundai is poised to make a u-turn over its decision not to bring its new rear-drive Coupe to the UK.The bigger, more luxurious Coupe is primarily aimed at the US market and is switching from front- to rear-wheel drive to battle models like the Ford Mustang and Nissan 350Z. It will feature a flagship V8-engined model that will cement its standing as a more sporting, upmarket proposition than the current car – but that’s not the car that could come here.Right-hand drive is still not confirmed, but Hyundai UK wants its head office in Korea to make the car available here, possibly featuring a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine instead of the V8.The new Coupe will be unveiled at Detroit in January, and is expected to share styling with the Veloster concept that appeared at the Korean motor show earlier in 2007. Tony Whitehorn, boss of the Hyundai UK, is pressing the factory for the European launch to be held at the 2008 London Motor Show next July. The UK is by far the biggest European market for the Coupe, with an average of 5000 sold every year – more than the rest of Europe added together.Later on, Hyundai could take the lead in the development of the hydrogen fuel cell car. A senior Hyundai source has said that the company could begin mass producing fuel-cell powered cars “as early as 2012”. The official mentioned Hyundai’s i-blue concept car, seen at the recent Frankfurt motor show, indicating that the new car could be a standalone model rather than a modified existing model; the sleek crossover concept was designed to incorporate fuel cell technology.

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