Hyundai isn't a name that often crops up in the pages of this magazine, but we're no badge snobs and the Coupe shouldn't be overlooked. We gave it four stars way back in issue 041 but we haven't really driven it since. Well, that's all about to change, now that a gleaming black V6 version has arrived on our long-term test fleet.
We have big plans for the humble Coupe, too. We'll be doing much more than simply driving it daily and reporting on the dull but worthy stuff like the five-year warranty and the fact that if you hunt around you can buy one for little more than £17K. No, we're going to work with Hyundai to turn it into something a little sharper, the kind of car you'd want to take on a trackday.
Of course we're not talking about stripping out the interior and doing a 'Jethro', but more subtle changes to brakes, tyres, suspension, etc. If all goes to plan, Hyundai will look at the possibility of selling the result as a limited-edition 'evoactive special'. We'd better get it right, then.
To be honest the Coupe makes a great starting point; most of the ingredients are there already. It looks handsome enough and, as I soon found, it rides and handles neatly too. No sooner had it arrived than it was pressed into service ferrying me and all my race kit up to Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, where I was racing a Radical SR8.
The excellent local roads provide a decent test of vehicle dynamics and, despite going easy on the 200-mile-old engine, the Coupe felt great. It turns in neatly, grips strongly and has a wholesome amount of feel; even some of the other Radical drivers - who usually swan around in M5s and the like - were impressed. I think we're going to get along famously.
|Date acquired||August 2005|
|Costs this month||£0|
|Mileage this month||260|
|MPG this month||28mpg|