Hyundai unveiled its highly anticipated Concept Genesis Coupe during a press conference at the Los Angeles auto show today. The concept is meant as a preview of the automaker’s forthcoming 2 + 2 sports coupe scheduled to go on sale in spring of 2009.
Following the introduction earlier this year of the rear-wheel-drive Concept Genesis sedan, Concept Genesis Coupe signals Hyundai’s second step in its rear-wheel-drive strategy. This car is not designed to replace the front-wheel-drive Tiburon, which will have a successor of its own. Hyundai said it used the E46 BMW M3 as a benchmark for its new coupe.
Hyundai officials revealed that the base car will be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with up-level models being propelled by a 3.8L V6 — not the previously rumored V8 from the Genesis sedan. While official performance numbers remain unknown, Hyundai is tauting the production Genesis Coupe as the most affordable 300+ horsepower car on the market. Because Hyundai is specifically going after the Ford Mustang, look for final horsepower ratings in the 310-320 range — trumping the Mustang GT’s 300 horsepower mark. A performance model with a sports suspension and Brembo brakes will also be available.
“Concept Genesis Coupe is the most thrilling, most emotional Hyundai yet,” said John Krafcik, vice president, product development and strategic planning, Hyundai Motor America. “When it hits the market in early 2009, we aim to deliver a driving experience that challenges cars like Infiniti G37, at prices more like Mitsubishi Eclipse.”
Hyundai said it took inspiration from the popular HCD9 Talus and the HCD8 concepts. The Genesis Coupe has a low roofline, three large heat extractors sculpted into the hood, broad shoulders, and 20-inch wheels.
Recent images (shown below today’s official shots) depict a production proof-of-concept model previewed during marketing event back in June. It’s not clear if that car reflects the coupe’s final design, or if concept is more current.
Designers used the Day Light Opening (DLO — a designer’s term for the side glass) from the HCD9 Talus Concept on the Concept Genesis Coupe.
The HCD8 sport tourer concept’s sensual body forms influenced the overall design direction of Concept Genesis Coupe.
The powerful curves, surface detail and “Z” bodyside lines come straight from the same underlying inspiration that guided two earlier, well-received concepts: the HCD9 Talus and the HCD8 sports tourer. The undulating beltline borrowed from the Talus adds intrigue while enhancing outward visibility for both the driver and rear passengers. The HCD8 sports tourer’s sensual body forms influenced the overall design theme while also providing direction for the concept’s assertive headlight and taillight designs.
The look of Concept Genesis Coupe was in part inspired by LeMan’s race cars, drifters and by Jada Toys Dub City die cast vehicles. The front and rear stance of the Concept Genesis Coupe can be described as sinister.
“Beauty and danger co-exist in the design of the Concept Genesis Coupe,” said Eric Stoddard, senior creative designer. “When viewed from a distance, the car is beautiful to look at. But up close it can appear a bit menacing and even a little intimidating.”
The concept’s rocker panels are drawn close to the ground making the bodysides extra thick and the daylight opening extremely thin, allowing the wheels to be slammed up into bulging fenders. To complete the aggressive sports car look, the depth between the fenders and the greenhouse has been maximized.
Three large heat extractors sculpted into the hood are designed to cool just about any powerful engine. When the concept becomes reality, three large openings in the front fascia will allow for better engine breathing. The dual exhaust tips integrated into the rear fascia repeat the design theme of the front cooling ducts and are surrounded by a large carbon fiber air diffuser.
An arching roofline and tapering greenhouse highlight the exterior profile and emphasize the car’s broad shoulders and wide stance. Concept Genesis Coupe rides on 20-inch polished aluminum deep-dish wheels with Hankook 255/35 ZR20 front tires and 275/35 ZR20 rear tires.