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]