These are the first pictures of Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe, a purpose-built rear-wheel drive sports coupe that promises to take the Korean manufacturer into supercar territory for the first time. Revealed at the New York International Auto Show, the stunningly-styled two door coupe will be powered by a choice of two performance-focused petrol engines – a 223PS 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder and a range-topping all-aluminium 310PS, DOHC 3.8-litre V6. The Genesis Coupe is scheduled to join the Hyundai lineup in South Korea and North America early in 2009, and may come to Britain in limited numbers later next year.

The Genesis Coupe uses the same flexible rear-wheel drive architecture originally developed for the Genesis sports saloon, which was revealed earlier this year. It uses a MacPherson strut dual-link front suspension and a five-link rear suspension setup. Both engines are mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission with an auto option and have 18-inch alloys or optional 19-inch wheels.

“We think our entry-level Genesis Coupe 2.0t, with its unique combination of rear-wheel drive and four-cylinder turbo power, offers an intriguing alternative to existing front-wheel drive sports coupes,” said John Krafcik, vice president, product development and strategic planning, Hyundai Motor America. “The 3.8-litre version takes things to an even higher level, rivalling the capability of premium coupes.”

In keeping with its mission to be the most exciting, affordable sports coupe on the road, the Genesis Coupe boasts a cockpit designed to enhance the driving experience. An information display screen features an outside temperature reading, audio system information and settings for the climate control. Analogue gauges include a large speedometer and tachometer positioned so the driver can immediately access critical driving information. The instrument cluster features Hyundai’s signature blue gauge illumination. Music lovers will welcome the inclusion of standard auxiliary input jacks to accommodate and charge audio devices such as iPods. Among the other refinements are an Infinity audio system, sport bucket seats and two-stage heated front seats. Genesis Coupe also offers the convenience of a proximity key and push button starter.

Tony Whitehorn, managing director of Hyundai UK said: “the Genesis Coupe is further proof that Hyundai’s engineers are capable of producing cars which can match or better anything produced in Japan, Europe or America. We would love to be able to bring this amazing car to the UK, and are keeping a close eye on public reaction to see if there is demand from British driving enthusiasts.”

Genesis Coupe Specifications

  • Configuration: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
  • Wheelbase: 2820 mm / 111.0 inches
  • Overall length: 4630 mm / 182.3 inches
  • Overall width: 1865 mm / 73.4 inches
  • Overall height: 1380 mm / 54.3 inches
  • Wheels: 18-inch or 19-inch five-spoke
  • Engine types: 3.8-litre V6 or 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo
  • Est. horsepower V6: 310 PS @ 6,000 rpm
  • Est. torque V6: 263 lb. ft. @ 4,700 rpm
  • Est. horsepower 2.0t: 223PS @ 6,000 rpm
  • Est. torque 2.0t: 217 lb. ft. @ 2,500 rpm
  • Valve timing: continuously variable valve timing for both engines (Dual for 2.0t)
  • Estimated 0-60 mph V6: under 6 seconds
  • Transmission types: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic (4-cylinder) or 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic (V6)
  • Limited slip differential (Optional)
  • Est. top speed: 149 mph (V6), 137 mph (2.0t)