Hyundai is set to offer a sleek four-door coupé version of its forthcoming i40 saloon. And this would trigger a wholesale move into new niches by the ambitious Korean company.
The newcomer will be based on the iFlow concept – driven exclusively by Auto Express this week – and would go head-to-head with the £22,520 Volkswagen Passat CC.
However, Hyundai plans to undercut VW, offering its CC rival with a price tag of around £18,000. And it wants to make its four-seater more practical, with extra rear headroom. A source within the company’s design team told us: “As soon as our president saw the iFlow concept, he said: ‘We have to make this car.’
“Hyundai is keen to move into different areas of the market and sell cars that appeal to the heart as well as the head, cars that show more emotion. This could be the model that starts us on that path.” The coupé is likely to be powered by the same 1.7-litre diesel engine as fitted to the i40, with power outputs of 115bhp and 140bhp.
A 1.6-litre petrol should also be available, with either six- speed automatic or manual gearboxes offered. The i40, driven on Page 40, goes on sale in May next year in estate form, with a saloon due in November. Insiders suggest the coupé is scheduled to follow in 2012.