Hyundai has revealed a sensational retort to the Peugeot 307 and Renault Mégane with the CCS concept. Based on today's Coupe, a final production version is tipped to enter production in 2005, powered by the existing Coup's 165bhp 2.7-litre V6.
The Karmann-developed panoramic glass roof has a sunroof-style sliding section, but also folds away completely to turn the coup into a convertible. The roof drops in 25 seconds, and Hyundai claims it has fewer pivots and moving parts than previous systems. As a result, the drop-top's weight penalty over the standard Coupe is kept to 140kg.
The CCS also hints at a future facelift for today's Coupe, with new light clusters and redesigned 18-inch alloys giving the otherwise identical styling a fillip.
Hyundai claims the CCS almost matches the Coupe for rigidity; it has also revised the rear suspension to increase luggage capacity and compensate for the roof stowage area.
Meanwhile, Hyundai's engineers are busy working on a secret new model that will hit showrooms before the CCS – this Toyota Rav4 rival photographed by our spies.
The new 4x4 – codenamed JM – is due to arrive in the UK next May, priced from around £14k. It takes on a more angular look than its brother, the Santa Fe. Although Hyundai insists both models will be sold in tandem, they appear similar in size.
The JM will be powered by 2.0- and 2.7-litre petrols, and Hyundai's existing 2.0 common-rail diesel. The car is likely to make its debut at either the Tokyo motor show in October, or next March's Geneva event.