16 August 2004

Hyundai is giving its best-looking car, the Coupé, a nip and tuck. Expected to be shown at the Paris Motor Show next month, the facelifted two-door will go on sale by the end of the year with prices largely unchanged from today’s range, which starts at around £14,500.

New headlamps and grille, inspired by the CCS concept (right), will give the Coupé’s nose a sportier look. The rear comes in for change, too, with tweaked C-pillar and light details.

Our spy shots suggest the side of the car will also change, with heavily sculpted Fiat Coupé-style strakes evident under the disguise ahead of the front wheelarch, and the vented ‘gill’ on the flanks has been redesigned.

Matching the tweaks outside, the Hyundai’s cabin will be upgraded with a general tidy up. Don’t expect any major changes, however: trim and finish details are the only real cockpit mprovements.

Mechanically, the Coupé will soldier on with its existing engines: the 1.6- and 2.0-litre four-cylinder units, and topped by the 2.7-litre V6, whose power is tipped to climb to 175bhp for slightly improved acceleration.

This facelifted model will be sold until the all-new Coupé arrives in 2008, probably sold as a folding hard-top model based around the HCD8 concept.

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