18 March 2008

So close, so far

Will Hyundai's Genesis Coupe reach the UK? Yes, if we've got a say in it

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Damn those Eurocrats and their pesky red tape.

This is the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe, set to be unveiled at the New York Auto Show this week in a blaze of distinctly un-Hyundai-ish excitement.

But we might not see it in the UK. Boo. Insiders say that European crash legislation may make it impossible to sell the Genesis Coupe over here - the car is set to debut in Korea and the US - despite the guys at Hyundai UK being seriously keen to make it happen.

We hope it does. With clean Lexus-esque lines and those neat side creases, the Genesis Coupe has remained faithful to the concept we saw in November. Despite it not having that slatted carbon fibre bonnet - that we didn't expect to stick around anyway - it's a good-looking thing.

The thought of a 310bhp V6 driving the rear wheels makes us even happier. That'll be the top-of-the-range engine until the 435bhp 4.6-litre V8 from the Genesis saloon arrives later in the year, but it'll do for a start.

Expect a 5.5-second 0-60 time, a top speed of around 150mph and plenty of driving fun thanks to a rear-axle limited slip diff and a neat six-speed manual.

It shouldn't cost too much, either. Hyundai says the Genesis Coupe will be the most affordable 300bhp-plus car on the market, so expect prices way beneath the class-benchmark Audi TT - especially when the more modest four-pot turbo engine joins the line-up.

See why we want it in the UK? Hyundai has hinted that we could see a handful of Genesis Coupes arriving under Single Vehicle Approval, but we want more.

Write to your local MP or organise a leaflet campaign or something. We can make this happen. After a nice cup of tea, obviously.

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