Back in September, Hyundai's president (and former Hyundai N boss) Albert Biermann told Top Gear that Hyundai was working on a mid-engine supercar but eventually scrapped the project. However, during the Canadian International Auto Show, Hyundai design director Hak Soo Ha told Car Scoops that a supercar isn't dead just yet.
“There’s been such efforts going on,” Hak Soo Ha told CS. “But at what point we make it economically viable, or do we do product planning, or on what donor platform we bring it to market, what powertrain, that’s all kind of up in the air.”
When Biermann first spoke about the potential Hyundai supercar, he mentioned cost as its biggest hurdle. The original plan was to make a unique carbon tub chassis with a mid-engine powertrain that could have had hybrid or even hydrogen fuel cell technology. However, such a car would have cost $150,000 or more, which Biermann felt was too high a price tag for a Hyundai.
The original idea was for the supercar to do for Hyundai what the NSX did for Honda. However, the project was ultimately put aside for Hyundai to work on more affordable performance cars, like the Veloster N.
While affordability is still a concern, the door isn't closed on a Hyundai supercar just yet. It's not likely to happen, and such an idea still seems a bit farfetched, but hearing that it's still possible is very good news indeed.
Although, it is understandable that Hyundai would be apprehensive about sinking boatloads of money into a high-end supercar that might not sell. When Honda developed the NSX, it already had motorsport chops to lean on, giving the public a reason to believe it could be worth the money (the Ayrton Senna connection didn't hurt, either). However, Hyundai doesn't have the sort of motorsport reputation Honda did in the '90s. At $150,000 or more, customers might not want to buy a Hyundai when they can buy a Porsche 911 GT3, Corvette Z06, or Audi R8 instead.
However, I do wonder what would happen if Hyundai were to just badge it a Genesis, similar to what Honda did in the U.S., badging the NSX as an Acura. The Genesis name is starting to carry quite a bit of weight in the luxury market and cars like the Genesis G70, GV70, and G80 have impressed both magazines and customers alike. A supercar could also do for Genesis what the R8 did for Audi, and legitimize it as a genuine high-performance brand and not just a maker of premium sedans and crossovers. Now isn't exactly the best time to launch a mid-engine supercar, as most brands are shifting toward electric cars, though a hybrid powertrain could give it a green enough image to succeed.
At the moment, it seems that there's very little chance such a thing every happens. Though I think it's safe to say that a Hyundai (or Genesis) supercar would awesome to see.
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