The next-generation Hyundai Genesis Coupe is not likely to be a sports car, but a luxury model.
In its previous life the Hyundai Genesis Coupe was a sporty two-door model that seemingly sat at odds with its luxury-focused Genesis sedan stablemate. We’ve seen spy images of what we had assumed could be the replacement version of the Genesis Coupe, and a Hyundai-branded concept known as the HND-9 Venace (pictured above and below), but the H badge could be removed altogether, CarAdvice has learned.
The next Genesis-branded coupe model – which could possibly look like something of a miniaturised version of the Vision G concept – is set to become more comfort-focused, but it will likely remain a similar size, or maybe a little larger than, its predecessor, as it will be based on the all-new, yet-to-be-revealed G70 sedan.
Hyundai Motor America president and chief executive Dave Zuchowski spoke with Australian media at the 2016 Detroit auto show, where he made it clear that the new direction of the as-yet unnamed Genesis coupe will be “completely different”.
“Today’s Genesis Coupe was originally planned as a replacement for the Tiburon – so it was never a premium platform,” he said.
“It was dressed up really nicely, it was a really nice car, it’s a nice performance vehicle and stuff, but it really wasn’t what we call a luxury car. This is a luxury car off a luxury platform,” he said.
Zuchowski said that the company’s recently-appointed head of vehicle test and high performance development, Albert Biermann (who previously worked for BMW M as lead engineer) has been brought in with a focus on bringing more sporting performance from the company’s offerings.
“Biermann was in charge of the BMW Performance cars … and a lot of the models I just talked about will have an N brand version, a performance brand version and that’s where he is now. So obviously the Coupe will have that performance version,” he said. It seems clear that the likes of the BMW M4, Audi RS5 and Mercedes-AMG C63 S could be the targets, then.
As Biermann suggested to CarAdvice, that could include a step up from the already impressive-sounding 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine that has 272kW of power and 509Nm of torque, to a forced-induction downsized V8 engine.
Zuchowski said that a coupe model is just part of the puzzle, with a convertible version an all-but vital addition in that segment of the market.
“We’re still fighting on that,” he said. “It’s an ongoing battle. It’s funny – just because the weather isn’t conducive to a convertible in Korea we have a hard time getting their attention on convertibles.
“It’s sort of like us with all-wheel-drive: with the Genesis when we were only rear-wheel drive, 85 per cent of market doesn’t buy the rear-wheel drive in some of the biggest markets in the US, and as soon as we got that all-wheel drive out there, our sales exploded and we did really well in New York and Chicago.
“And really, in that [mid-sized] segment, the coupe segment, it’s almost the same story with convertibles. It’s a big part of the volume there, and to compete we really have to have one. But we haven’t gotten any commitments on that yet,” he said.
“As a starting point we will definitely have a great coupe which is a legitimate luxury vehicle, and then we’ll have a performance version of that and hopefully we can convince them … and we will have a convertible version as well.”