This year is the last for the Tiburon two-door hatch, though Hyundai is quick to point out it's not being replaced by the new Genesis coupe due to hit dealerships in early 2009. Its replacement - another small FWD coupe - will most likely be based on the sexy Veloster concept from the Seoul auto show.

"We are seriously looking at a small front-wheel-drive coupe to replace the Tiburon, but I can't say when that will happen," said John Krafcik, Vice President of product development for Hyundai, in an interview with Automotive News.

He went on to emphasize the Genesis coupe is intended to fill a new role in the company's lineup - it's not a Tiburon replacement. The new Veloster-based car would be the spiritual heir to the Tiburon legacy.

Bearing a bit of a resemblance to Kia's Cee'd - using the same platform as its corporate cousin would make a lot of sense - the Veloster concept was pitched as a 2+2 with a sporty demeanor and an economical 2.0L engine, a formula that worked well for the Tiburon. With the Veloster's more hatch-like proportions and modern styling, it might find even greater success than its sharky forebear.

Since Hyundai has plans for the Genesis coupe to occupy its range from economy coupe below $20,000 to luxury sport coupe above $30,000, differentiating the eventual successor to the Tiburon on more than drivetrain alone is probably a good move for the company.