• Jul 2, 2006


In its bid to become the world's fifth largest automaker, Hyundai knows it needs a halo car to get there. Not that a halo car would increase the automaker's sales by much (Pontiac plans to sell less than 20,000 Solstice convertibles a year), but a highly desirable vehicle will draw customers into showrooms who may buy other Hyundai models. A halo car will also get the automaker good press in car magazines and other auto news outlets. Finally, such a vehicle would boost moral for designers and engineers that have been hard at work revamping Hyundai's entire lineup and developing new vehicles like a Honda Pilot-sized SUV and full-size pickup.

Hyundai is currently deciding whether it wants a halo vehicle with front-wheel or rear-wheel drive. Here, let us help – rear-wheel drive. The Tiburon is one of the last remaining models to get a new Hyundai makeover, and it sorely needs one. The Tiburon, however, a halo car will not make. The Detroit Free press postulates a rear-wheel drive model would be more like the Infiniti G35, and considering the good reviews being received by the new full-size Azera sedan, we think Hyundai could pull off a rear-wheel drive coupe in the high $20K range. The company promises the public will get to view the car in concept form as soon as a shape is ready. Perhaps we could get the first foreign entry in the upcoming pony wars, or is that an oxymoron?

Shown is the Hyundai HCD-8 concept that appeared at the 2004 Detroit auto show.

[Source: The Detroit Free Press]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, can you imagine a G35-ish coupe selling for $10K less than the G35 and with a much better warranty? It'd sell like hotcakes, or free sex.
      • 8 Years Ago
      In Korea, it's still only a rumor as of yet, but rumor has it that they will be offering a RWD coupe in two trims, a tweaked version of the 3.8 in the Azera, and a 2.0 liter turbo version. It should be out in 2008... If they can keep the price under 30K, which they should be able to, it will sell well.

      Of course, in Korea, as always, we get shafted on the price.... Right now, a 2.7 Tiburon costs over 25K, while a 3.8 Azera costs about 42K in Korea.

      If the new Tiburon gets the 3.8 in a RWD platform, it'll probably sell for around 38~40K in Korea...
      • 8 Years Ago
      They basically need to make an Infiniti G35 coupe for about $10,000 less, or the same price but performing much better (which would put it in BMW's league, which would be a GREAT leapfrog).

      Dear Hyundai, please have a $25-$35,000 rear-wheel-drive car with a strong V6 (preferably turbocharged), with a Dynamic Sequential Gearbox and paddle shifters. Also, throw in one of those panoramic roofs that Mercedes, Lexus, and Scion are throwing on cars. I want to see LEDs and HIDs, too...and navigation that makes the other manufacturers' look like toys (which wouldn't be hard). PLEASE DO IT!
      • 8 Years Ago
      i would seriously consider any rwd coupe hyundai made. it would be a mistake to make a fwd halo car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I must compliment Hyundai - they get it - they know who they are, how to build cars, and aren't out whining in the press and insulting it when they get negative coverage - unlike GM which is run by a bunch of whining Nellies who haven't the balls to make hard decisions or to change anything.

      I would buy a Hyundai the next time I buy a new car. I'd never consider a new GM vehicle until Bobby Putz and his ilk are fired and pushed off a tall building.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, as this company grows, it will definately be interesting to see what other great vehicles they will bring out for us consumers.
      • 8 Years Ago

      "Perhaps we could get the first foreign entry in the upcoming pony wars,"

      Wouldn't the Dodge Challenger be the first foreign entry? DaimlerChrysler is a German company, right?
      • 8 Years Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Perhaps we could get the first foreign entry in the upcoming pony wars,"


      Funny you mention that. You didn't get them in the U.S., but the Pony was probably Hyundai's last RWD car. I bought one for 50 bucks a few years back. Surpisingly, it wasn't too hard to get the back end swinging, pretty fun for 70 hp.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Is it my imagination, or have actual auto "showrooms" become a thing of the past? It seems that every dealership I look at here in Texas has converted their showroom into a sales floor, sometimes leaving room for only one car on that floor, and often not even that. The opportunity of visiting a dealership's actual showroom and having the opportunity to prod and probe several actual vehicles in air-conditioned comfort seems to have disappeared forever. Or is this only in Texas?
      • 8 Years Ago
      With all the latest improvements to the Hyundai line-up, it really is time for them to build a proper sports car. If they could build something simiar to the 350Z or G35, but for a lower price, I'm sure they'd have a winner.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I, personally, don't care for the car pictured but all of us know, after driving the Sonata and especially the Azera, Hyundai is seriously engaging the 'top dogs'. The Azera outclasses even the Avalon in many key areas, and not just in price and features, but in braking and nvh(nvh has to be engineered out, costs alot of money and can't be faked).
      It is not 'if' but 'when' Hyundai finally arrives in the minds of the public and I believe it is going to be the Equus replacement, a rear-wheel drive sedan above the Azera and priced a little over $30k to undercut every Lexus, every Infiniti, and every BMW. If the Azera is an indicator, Hyundai is already there competing. I have read countless consumer reviews of former Lexus, Acura, Infiniti and Europeon sedan owners who claim the Azera is better than their former sedans and is only a percentage of the price.
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