Hyundai, the world’s fastest growing car brand, is making a bid for the premium sector with its new luxury sports coupé concept.
The HND-9 represents an evolution of Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture design philosophy, offering a modern interpretation of the classic premium sports coupe. It’s the ninth in a series of concepts produced by the company’s R&D Centre in Namyang, Korea, and will make its world debut at the 2013 Seoul Motor Show later this month.
Powered by a 3.3-litre turbo GDi petrol engine delivering 365bhp, the HND-9 applies its power to the rear-wheels via a eight-speed automatic transmission.
The look is certainly ‘premium’, and while Hyundai has all the ingredients (build quality, design credentials and money), the one (huge) barrier they’ll need to overcome is the appeal of their brand.
Put kindly, nobody will spend upwards of £70k on a Hyundai until such time as their brand symbolises something aspirational (the success of motorsport, the sex appeal of supercar performance) and they’ve still got a long way to go in matching the sophisticated powertrains provided by BMW and Mercedes or even Lexus and Infiniti.
But clearly there’s promise, and with concepts like the HND-9 the Germans have even more reason to push ahead with their own plans.
In the meantime expect to see much of the HND-9’s styling in the next Hyundai Genesis Coupé, a model which is currently sold in left-hand drive markets, but if Hyundai is serious about world domination, will need to be available in right-hand drive too.
I’d say that’s good news all round for car buyers.