Hyundai’s next-generation Genesis Coupe may have been put on the backburner in favour of hotting-up the Korean carmaker’s regular models, if a new report proves true.
Spy photos obtained in August last year appeared to suggest that development of the new Coupe is well under-way, but according to the UK’s Autocar, Hyundai may have now shied away from the project.
Speaking with the website this week, Hyundai UK boss Tony Whitehorn described concerns over playing in the heavily scrutinised sports-car market.
“Putting a new sports car into that segment isn’t easy. It’s a big risk. I think that going into the sports car segment is a risk for the UK,” he said.
Whitehorn did not offer any detail on whether this view is shared by the company’s global management, however, and it is possible that he is alluding instead to the plan for a right-hand-drive version of the new Coupe.
Whitehorn added that the carmaker could look to build on its World Rally Championship campaigning by developing hotter versions of its i30 and i20 models.
“What WRC does is show there’s a desire to be more emotional. We have previously been a rational purchase; now we want to be an emotional one," he told Autocar.
"I don’t think that necessarily means you need to have a sports car."
What, then, of the next Genesis Coupe?
In 2013, hyundai revealed the HND-9 concept, declaring it an early preview of the new Coupe. At the same time, Hyundai Australia confirmed that, unlike the current first-generation model, this new Coupe would come our way.
However, if Whitehorn is suggesting this week that a UK release for the new Coupe is no longer a certainty, we may yet discover that Hyundai has moved away from plans for a right-hand-drive version of the new Coupe.
And in fact, recent comments from Hyundai Australia boss John Elsworth suggest that despite earlier word, the new Coupe is no certainty for us either.
“It's something that we want, yes. Absolutely,” Mr Elsworth told TMR in Korea during the first media drive of the new Genesis sedan.
“It'd be great, but is it going to happen? I've got to tell you that I'm not holding my breath.”
Perhaps, then, the new Coupe is not so much ‘on the ropes’... it’s simply not planning to enter the Australian ring.
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