LA Auto Show: Hyundai RWD CoupeS

UPDATE: First shots are live! Brian Lam and I are here on the floor of the LA Convention Center waiting for the Hyundai Genesis Coupe to...oh there it goes. Once my eyes adjusted to the metal-flake, nuclear-sunrise orange initial impressions were RSX headlights on a Lexus IS wedge. Of course, the special thing is that Hyundai promises the coupe to be the cheapest 300HP RWD sports car ever, not just out of Seoul — we'll see if it'll beat a Mustang in pricing. The Viper-esque hood vents and carbon fiber bits won't make it to final for costs obviously, but the thought is certainly nice. The shapely triangle window, fifth relative of custom van glass, is staying.



Press release after the jump and we'll have video up shortly.

Hyundai unveils rear-wheel Drive Concept Genesis Coupe

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2007 - Hyundai unveiled its highly anticipated Concept Genesis Coupe during a press conference at the Los Angeles International Auto Show today. The concept car heralds the introduction of an all-new, rear-wheel drive 2 + 2 sports coupe scheduled to join the Hyundai lineup in the spring of 2009. Following the introduction earlier this year of the Concept Genesis sedan, Concept Genesis Coupe signals Hyundai's second step in broadening its appeal to driving enthusiasts.

The Sonic Orange concept is complemented by a Ballistic Black carbon fiber hood, roof and ground effects for reduced weight. Strong hints of the production version are highlighted in its "Z" bodylines and powerful curves. When the production sports coupe arrives, it likely will be the most affordable 300+ horsepower car on the market, and the most dynamic performance car yet from Hyundai.

Concept Genesis Coupe

"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."

DESIGN PROCESS

"The mission for Concept Genesis Coupe was to create a pure performance car with a design that would capture the imagination of hardcore automotive enthusiasts," said Joel Piaskowski, chief designer at the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, Calif. "With its aggressive look from just about any angle, I think we have been able to do that."

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 ZR front tires and 275/35 ZR rear tires.

Concept Genesis Coupe

CONCEPT GENESIS COUPE SPECIFICATIONS

• Configuration: Front engine, rear-wheel drive sports coupe

• Wheelbase: 2,820 mm / 111 inches

• Overall length: 4,666 mm / 183.7 inches

• Overall width: 1,902 mm / 74.9 inches

• Overall height: 1,386 mm / 54.5 inches

• Wheels: 20-inch, five-spoke

• Tires: Hankook 255/35 ZR front and 275/35 ZR rear



PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION CAR DETAILS

• Engine type: V6

• Estimated horsepower: more than 300 horsepower

• Estimated torque: more than 250 lb. ft.

• Displacement: 3.8 liters

• Block material: high pressure die cast aluminum

• Cylinder head material: aluminum

• Valvetrain: Dual Over Head Cam (DOHC)

• Valve timing: continuous variable valve timing

• Estimated 0-60 mph: under 6 seconds

• Transmission type: 6-speed manual

• Front brakes: Brembo, 340 mm disc, twin-piston calipers

• Rear brakes: Brembo, 330 mm disc, twin-piston calipers

• Limited slip differential

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide.

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