They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and looking at prototypes of the upcoming 2012 Hyundai Veloster sports coupe alongside the Volkswagen Scirocco we can only surmise that Hyundai must really, really like Volkswagen's design work.
Hyundai isn’t keeping quiet about its future product line, with the company’s U.S. chief previously revealing details about upcoming hybrid and electric vehicle plans and now details about the replacement for the Tiburon.
Hyundai also isn’t hiding the fact that the Scirocco will be the prime target for the new Tiburon replacement. Speaking previously, Hyundai exec John Krafcik confirmed that a new compact sports car will be released by the end of 2011 and that a name is yet to be picked though Veloster and even Tiburon are being considered.
The comments contradict earlier speculation that the Tiburon was being scrapped in favor of the current Genesis Coupe. Instead the two models will be going after different market segments, with the Tiburon replacement to be positioned below the last model.
Krafcik explained that the latest model "will have a lower price point, kind of eco sport positioning, where it is not going to be all about performance." Repositioning the car will ensure that Hyundai won’t be cannibalizing its own sales by having two similar cars, the Tiburon replacement and the Genesis Coupe, in similar segments.
As for the styling of the new model, Krafcik revealed designers will be looking to the Veloster concept shown at 2007's Seoul Auto Show for inspiration and that 70-80 percent of the concept car's lines may transfer to the production version. The design briefing will focus around making the replacement Tiburon "very stylish", as well as "very fuel efficient," he explained.
Power will likely come from Hyundai's new family of Theta II gasoline direct-injection (GDI) four-cylinder engines, with a planned turbocharged variant possibly making for one hot little hatch. Expect output to range from about 140 to 200 horsepower. Transmissions are likely to include both of Hyundai's six-speed transmissions, one automatic and one manual. There has been talk as well of a six-speed dual clutch transmission, making it a true competitor for the Scirocco.
For all those readers lamenting Volkswagen’s decision not to bring the Scirocco over to U.S. soil, Hyundai may have the next best thing though we'll have to wait at least another year for it to arrive in showrooms. Look out for a world debut of the car at this October's 2010 Paris Auto Show, meanwhile.